Pompey boss weighing up next Jack Whatmough route

Jack Whatmough
Jack Whatmough

Paul Cook is weighing up Jack Whatmough’s latest route on the comeback trail following the defender’s Pompey return.

The teenager was last week recalled by the Blues after six appearances at the struggling Hawks.

He has gone there to start playing again and obviously once it had served its purpose for both parties I felt it was important Jack came back and trained with us for a couple of weeks

Paul Cook

The loan was earmarked as an opportunity for Whatmough to receive precious game time on his return from a cruciate knee ligament injury.

Paul Cook and coach Robbie Blake had watched the youngster in action during the Hawks’ recent 3-1 home defeat to Gosport Borough.

That proved to be Whatmough’s final appearance for Lee Bradbury’s side before returning to Fratton Park.

The loan spell was scheduled to finish at the end of the National League South club’s season, having previously been extended following an initial month.

But Cook had a change of heart and now must decide what next for the highly-regarded central defender.

He said: ‘Jack had a slight hamstring, he had played six games at Havant so we felt it was best to pull him back.

‘Jack is now okay and back training with us since Monday. We will look at his options for the future.

‘His return has nothing to do with the Havant pitch. Jack is playing football, you have got to play, it doesn’t matter about the surface.

‘He has gone there to start playing again and, obviously, once it had served its purpose for both parties I felt it was important Jack came back and trained with us for a couple of weeks.

‘You can’t say it was down to a bad pitch, there are plenty of bad pitches everywhere.

‘He is over his hamstring problem now and we will have a look at it and see what comes up, that is for Jack to decide now also.

‘Obviously, he has had those six games and may be included in our squads with 15 matches to go.

‘It is definitely something we can look at. He has played his initial games, which was important.

‘Without a doubt his loan spell there has benefited him.’

Whatmough has not featured for Pompey since damaging his knee against Cheltenham in March 2015.

That represented his 36th appearance since coming through the club’s Academy – an emergence which won him much admiration among the Fratton faithful.

This season has seen Christian Burgess, Adam Webster, loanee Matt Clarke and even Adam Barton serve in the centre of Cook’s defence.

Yet Whatmough proved he is over his injury during his brief Westleigh Park spell, while Pompey have no concerns over his fitness levels.

With 15 League Two matches remaining, the youngster from Gosport will be hoping to break back into the first-team squad before the campaign is over.

However, with Burgess, Webster and Clarke having largely impressed, the manager is well-stocked for central defenders at this moment in time.