Guy delight as Wallace repays faith

Pompey midfielder Jed Wallace
Pompey midfielder Jed Wallace

Guy Whittingham bel-ieves Jed Wallace has justified his show of faith in him.

The 19-year-old produced his best display of the early season in Saturday’s 3-0 victory over Morecambe.

Wallace was instrumental in Pompey’s first win of the campaign, netting the opening goal in the process.

The highly-rated midfielder had previously failed to reach the standards he set so impressively last term.

During that period Whittingham had resisted the urge to take him out of the side and go with the talents of Ricky Holmes instead.

Yet, against Morecambe, there was plenty of evidence the Wallace of old was back.

Pompey’s manager said: ‘It was Jed’s best game out of four on Saturday, so he is back on it.

‘He is also back on the goal trail, which he likes to do, and is learning the game all the time.

‘Jed ended the season on a high last year with his goals and performances, and he has probably found it a little bit hard at the start of this year.

‘But it is important you stick by the youngsters.

‘There will be a stage in the season – it might be sooner rather than later – that he finds himself out of the team because, like Dan Butler, they are learning the game.

‘Ricky (Holmes) has been chomping at the bit.

‘He hasn’t played for six months or so in a competitive game and cannot wait to get out there.

‘We went with Jed, though, because Ricky had that little bit of an injury early on and sometimes you have to stick with players.

‘Sometimes you pull them and say “We are going to dip you out for a while” but, obviously, Morecambe looks as if we got it right.

‘It was a little bit of a show of faith from us but I don’t think Jed has been poor.

‘He probably just hasn’t got going like he did last year – and he will admit that himself.’

Wallace broke the deadlock in the 20th minute against the Shrimps – and the relief on his face was obvious.

He was then involved in the build-up to the second goal, scored by David Connolly, following a lightning counter-attack.

The youngster afterwards admitted he hadn’t been going through the best of times during his second season as a Pompey professional.

But Blues followers will be hoping Wallace can build on that dynamic Morecambe display and recapture his impressive form from last season.

And Whittingham was also delighted with Saturday’s quality of performance from the attacking midfielder.

He added: ‘It was terrific seeing Jed like that, he is such a live wire.

‘Sometimes he is a bit impatient on the pitch and tries to do things a bit too much, but he is learning.

‘That ball for the second goal was the right one and that is just as pleasing as anything else.’