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Fixture News

Naylor Happy With Defensive Role

New-look centre-back pairing at Stevenage

21 July 2019

Tom Naylor
Photo: Joe Pepler/PinPep

Tom Naylor had been used exclusively as a midfielder since joining Pompey from Burton last summer.

But he was deployed in the centre of defence for Saturday’s pre-season friendly victory at Stevenage.

Paired with Paul Downing, the 28-year-old helped keep a clean sheet that ensured Ronan Curtis’ header was enough to see off the League Two outfit.

And – having been used at the back for his previous club – Naylor did not have any problems with the role.

He said: “I’ve been in midfield for the past couple of seasons, but I have played there a lot in my career.

“The gaffer asked me to do a job there and I felt comfortable. I enjoy defending, winning headers and putting my body on the line.

“I thought that Downs and I were solid. The communication was there and we were letting each other know when there was someone arriving over our shoulder.

"The gaffer asked me to do a job there and I felt comfortable."

Tom Naylor

“It’s not about telling people what to do, but I like to be vocal on the pitch and help to guide people if I can.”

There were not too many clear-cut chances at Broadhall Way, but Curtis was able to convert a Jamal Lowe cross to maintain Pompey’s winning start to pre-season.

Naylor said: “Stevenage didn’t have a lot of shots, although they brought on a host of players late on to freshen things up.

“The grass was long, but we still passed it well enough and I was pleased with our overall performance.

“We tired – which happens in these games – and I felt we should have scored more, but it’s still pre-season and the main thing is having that winning mentality.

“There are new faces in the team, so it’s also about seeing what they can do and learning what their qualities are.”

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