Pompey's Jack Whatmough prepared to stay at Hawks

Jack Whatmough insists he is prepared to prolong his non-league stay as he seeks to step up his injury comeback.

Jack Whatmough warms up before featuring in the Hawks' FA Trophy win over Welling. Picture: Paul Jacobs (160012-26)
Jack Whatmough warms up before featuring in the Hawks' FA Trophy win over Welling. Picture: Paul Jacobs (160012-26)

The 19-year-old has joined the Hawks on a month-long loan in a bid to accrue crucial first-team minutes following nine months out.

While Pompey’s fixture at Accrington Stanley was called off on Saturday, Whatmough featured as a 74th-minute substitute in Lee Bradbury’s side’s 2-1 FA Trophy victory over Welling.

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It represented the Gosport youngster’s second appearance since returning from a cruciate knee ligament injury.

Under terms of the loan, Bradbury has agreed to follow a programme designed to ease Whatmough back into match action – with his Westleigh Park presence to be reassessed at the end of this month.

For the central defender, his time with the National League South side is vital in rebuilding his match fitness.

And he has no qualms about staying put if Pompey boss Paul Cook rules it necessary.

Whatmough said: ‘I’m coming back from a big injury, the main thing is playing football and making sure I am happy what I am doing.

‘I got through about three or four weeks of training back with Pompey following my injury, so I was ready to play some football and the physio said it was right for me to go and join Havant. It was a good decision.

‘I am a footballer. I want to be happy doing that, it doesn’t bother me what league it is, what standard, I just want to be playing.

‘For nine months I was out, so I’m just getting more games. Whether I go back to Pompey or I go on loan again and get more games, it is obviously up to the gaffer.

‘We will see what he wants and what he sees is right for me and we will do that.

‘If he thinks I need another loan then we will do that.

‘I’m not one of those people who will turn their nose up at a loan.

‘I will go anywhere to play football, whatever he wants I’ll do that.

‘If he wants me to play for Pompey then I will be ready.

‘I’m just willing to play football, that’s all I want.

‘When the time comes for Pompey or elsewhere I will be ready.’

Whatmough, who played 15 minutes in the Hawks’ previous match, was introduced off the bench against Welling.

His role involved sitting in front of the back four – and the youngster is adamant his confidence is improving.

He added: ‘I’m still going through the stage of coming back from the rehabilitation.

‘When I came on at the weekend I produced one sliding tackle I would not have done on the training ground.

‘As soon as I saw their guy take a big touch, it was game over for him and I just went through him!

‘I went in on the left knee as well, which is the one I did, and there were no problems whatsoever.

‘It was another confidence boost for me the fact the knee is fine to win tackles like that.’