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Wheeler: An Important Chance To Impress

Scorer pleased with his Checkatrade Trophy impact

4 September 2018

David Wheeler celebrates with Joe Mason after scoring for Pompey aga
Photo: Robin Jones

There might have been only a little over 2,000 people inside Fratton Park to watch Pompey’s Checkatrade Trophy clash with Gillingham.

But it was certainly not a fixture of lesser importance to David Wheeler, who was given a chance to impress in the forward line.

Boss Kenny Jackett made 10 changes for the group stage contest and was rewarded with a comfortable 4-0 victory.

And Wheeler followed in the footsteps of Matt Clarke, Ben Close and Brett Pitman by netting a late goal to wrap things up.

He said: “I should have scored before that when I bundled through from Brett’s flick on and the keeper made a good save.

“But I kept making runs into the box and fortunately one fell to me right at the end – and I was able to take it.

"Anyone that’s on the fringes has to take these matches seriously and show the best of their abilities."

David Wheeler

“Since I’ve been here, the lads in the first team have played so well and we’ve been really successful in terms of results.

“So anyone that’s on the fringes has to take these matches seriously and show the best of their abilities.

“There were a few performances that showed players were pushing the guys in front of them and that can only be healthy for the club.

“I’m going to do my best to challenge for those attacking positions when I get my chance because I want to be starting more.”

Wheeler believes the performance highlights just how dangerous Pompey are when they get a chance to hit sides on the break.

He explained: “It was a very professional display from the whole team and we did our defensive jobs throughout.

“Even when we were two and three goals up, we were still tracking runners, making tackles and doing things properly.

“Off the back of that we could counter-attack. When possession is turned over, we’ve got the players who can hurt teams.

“Our opponents will come onto us a bit more when we’re ahead and that leaves a lot of space for us to run into.”

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