East and Craddock miss out as precaution

Danny East and Tom Craddock will be fit for the start of the new season – despite missing tomorrow’s pre-season showdown with Rayo Vallecano (3pm).

Defender East has picked up a hip problem, while striker Craddock has a bruised toe.

Both are expected to be left out of the clash with the Spanish outfit as a precaution.

But Guy Whittingham is confident he will have both new additions to choose from next weekend when his side host Oxford United at Fratton Park in their League Two curtain-raiser.

The Blues boss said: ‘Danny East and Tom Craddock are probably going to miss out (tomorrow).

‘The whole purpose of pre-season is making sure you get people fit for August 3, so they are just little knocks they have picked up – nothing major.

‘We will probably rest them for this game. It’s just a precaution – they should be fit for the start of the season.’

Madrid outfit Vallecano finished eighth in La Liga last term and will surely represent Pompey’s stiffest test so far this pre-season.

But Whittingham has no fears of confidence being hit.

He said: ‘It’s a good chance for the players to go out and impress against a good side who will pass the ball for fun.

‘It will be a good opportunity to work on some of the defensive things and it will certainly be good for fitness because I have no doubt we will be chasing the ball at times.’

Meanwhile, Whittingham also warned not to draw any conclusions from his team selection.

He said: ‘I’m getting there with what my team will be against Oxford. But it doesn’t mean that the team starting tomorrow will be the team that starts against Oxford.

‘We’ve got to give everybody a fair share of time on the pitch.’