Williamson is right man in an emergency

Lee Wlliamson tussles for the ball with Crewe's Luke Murphy at Fratton Park on Saturday
Lee Wlliamson tussles for the ball with Crewe's Luke Murphy at Fratton Park on Saturday

LEE WILLIAMSON has been backed to feature again at right-back.

But Michael Appleton insists it will only be as a Pompey emergency.

The midfielder was surprisingly asked to play in an unaccustomed defensive role against Crewe at the weekend.

That meant Adam Webster playing at left-back and Jon Harley moving to right midfield.

Nonetheless, Williamson gave a steady performance in the role as Appleton’s men ran out comfortable 2-0 winners.

Next up are Shrewsbury, who come to Fratton Park on Saturday.

The return of Mustapha Dumbuya from international duty with Sierra Leone means he will most likely slot in at right-back.

In turn, that will allow Williamson to revert back to his favoured midfield role.

But Appleton admitted he would have no hesitation calling upon him again at right-back when times dictate.

He said: ‘Willo is certainly comfortable there, athletic enough to do it and has enough quality and experience.

‘But I think I will only use him there in terms of an emergency if I need to.

‘There are a few of them in the team – like Johnny Ertl as well – who can play in numerous positions, which is a good thing for us.

‘We looked at the Crewe team and we knew their left-back Matt Tootle would be a threat from the videos we had seen.

‘I just felt Willo would have been the best person to deal with that and I think he did.

‘He put a good performance in there and is experienced enough to deal with it.

‘With the way Crewe played and the way they set up, with their midfield players coming off the line, we also thought Akos (Buzsaky) was best-suited for the left-hand side, which also suited Adam Webster.

‘And it worked.’

Williamson has played 12 times for Pompey since his summer arrival. Yet Crewe was the first time he had appeared in defence for the Blues.

Last season, he scored 13 goals for Sheffield United from midfield, although he has yet to find the net for Pompey.