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Wigan Athletic 1 v 0 Portsmouth
SkyBet League One
Saturday, 28th August 2021 Kick-off 15:00
Pompey come up against familiar face who's 'one of best in League One'
Friday, 27th Aug 2021 20:12 by pompey-fans.com staff

Danny Cowley described Jack Whatmough as one of the best centre halves in League One as he prepaed for Pompey's reunion with him and former Fratton captain Tom Naylor at Wigan this weekend.

Cowley said both were good players and it was a shame the Blues could not keep them. He told the Pompey website Wigan would be tough opposition: 'Wigan are in a much more stable place now and that’s really good to see, but we know it’s going to tough.

'They’ve obviously recruited very aggressively and have got an incredible depth to their group, so it should give us a good idea of exactly where we are. I only worked with Tom and Jack towards the end of last season, but they’re both really good players.

'Jack is, for me, one of the best centre-halves in the league, while Tom was a leader of this group, but they’re even better people. Unfortunately, it wasn’t possible for us to keep them, but we do wish them well for their future careers.

'Of course, when it comes to 3pm on Saturday, we’ll be really competitive and doing everything we can to win the game.'

Cowley, though pleased with Pompey's 10-points-from-12 start to the season, is still looking for the perfect performance. He said: 'It’s been a useful week and it’s been great to get back out on the grass in preparation for the weekend. When you’re a new group, that time on the training pitch is just so important, allowing you to keep accelerating the process of developing your game idea.

'It also helps you to keep building those partnerships and relationships, so they have been some really good days for us. We’ve taken some learning from the draw at Doncaster and want to show more intensity, while being ruthless with our final actions.

'As a coach, you’re always looking for that perfect, dominant performance over 90 minutes – in and out of possession and during transitions. Whether you’re ever going to get that, I’m not quite sure, but it’s certainly what we’re all working towards.

'There have been good elements during our games and I’ve been pleased with our work against the ball, which has helped us keep four clean sheets. It was nice to see the stats that put us as the second best pressing team in the country behind Leeds – and they do play with intensity.'

Photo: Action Images

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