Pompey striker may remain man on the spot

Izale McLeod misses from the spot. Picture: Barry Zee
Izale McLeod misses from the spot. Picture: Barry Zee

Izale McLeod may remain on penalty duty after his latest spot-kick pain.

McLeod’s miss from 12 yards proved crucial on Saturday as Pompey were held to a 0-0 draw by Preston.

His blast cannoned back off the bar after he was nudged over by Chris Robertson.

That made it four penalty misses from the Blues this season – with the club’s top scorer responsible for two of them.

But Pompey caretaker boss Guy Whittingham will not necessarily relieve the striker of penalty duties moving forward – although Scott Allan is keen to take on the responsibility.

Whittingham said: ‘It’s not an issue for the players because he’s stepping up to take it.

‘Izale missed one before and then scored the next one.

‘We won’t necessarily change but it hasn’t even crossed my mind yet.

‘It’s not something I’ve thought about yet but I probably will do.’

Whttingham felt Pompey’s performance against Preston warranted a better return than the point they picked up.

The result made it 10 games without a win for the Blues – although they are now unbeaten in three.

Whittingham saw good performances from the team across the pitch and felt that was a source of encouragement.

He said: ‘I can’t single anyone out for not having a good game.

‘Scott Allan shone but there was no one I could say didn’t play well.

‘Scotty is in the team because he is great on the ball and can make things happen.

‘Izale is there because he’s good at running the channels and Gabor and Ricardo are in the team because they are good defenders.

‘We told them to go out there and do what they are good at – and that’s what they did.’

Pompey again had rookie keeper Simon Eastwood to thank for some important stops.

That followed on from a decent display at Tranmere last week, where he made some top drawer saves.

Whittingham said: ‘He’s the first choice at the moment.

‘Phil Smith is putting a bit of pressure on him – and you need that.

‘He’s done well. His confidence could have gone but he’s stepped up to the plate.

‘You know you are doing okay if the fans are singing your name.’