Whittingham anticipates midfielder return

Expected back: Pompey midfielder Liam Walker   Picture: Joe Pepler
Expected back: Pompey midfielder Liam Walker Picture: Joe Pepler
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Guy Whittingham has reiterated that he expects Liam Walker to attend Pompey’s return to pre-season training next week.

The Blues’ contracted squad members and development group will be back for two days of fitness testing from this Thursday.

Triallists have been invited to be present from Monday, when full training begins.

That includes Walker, whose long-term future at Fratton Park remains unclear.

Despite not being offered a new Blues deal yet, Walker has been challenged by Whittingham to impress in the build-up to the League Two campaign.

The Gibralta midfielder, who joined Pompey last summer, has also told The News of his intent to come back and prove his worth.

Whittingham has not spoken to Walker recently, but anticipates the return of the popular 25-year-old despite his future being up in the air.

The Pompey boss said: ‘We invited Liam back for pre-season and he is saying things in the paper he is going to be back so we will see him for the start of pre-season.

‘For the first few days we are really only testing players who are under contract. So we will probably see him Monday.

‘As far as I know, nothing has changed and he is coming back for pre-season with us.’

In the meantime, there is still the issue of first-team coach to address.

Whittingham now has his assistant manager in Steve Allen but there remains a vacancy for a coach.

Darren Moore declined to be considered at one stage, leaving the Pompey manager to explore other options, which he is currently looking into.

Whittingham added: ‘I am talking to people, getting thoughts on things.

‘It is ongoing, though.’