Pompey boss weighing up return for star man

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Guy Whittingham has told Andy Barcham: Your chance will come.

As the Blues go to Torquay tomorrow, the Pompey boss has moved to assure the winger he will have a big role to play in the coming weeks.

Barcham has found himself a victim of his team’s improved form of late, after finding himself taken out of the starting line-up.

The 26-year-old has not started a game since the York debacle last month.

He has been restricted to just 30 minutes of action off the bench during that time – and found himself unused for the first time this season in the 1-1 draw at Plymouth.

Pompey erred on the side of caution with the winger and took him out of the firing line after picking up a knee problem.

Barcham’s time on the bench has seen the winger’s stunning early-season form, where he was the team’s standout attacking player, stall.

Whittingham agreed he was Pompey’s star man as he served up blistering performances, with his jet-propelled runs exciting the Fratton faithful.

His manager now has to weigh up bringing him back in as Pompey look to make it five games without defeat at Plainmoor.

Whittingham admitted that was a consideration going into the Bury game last weekend.

He promised working Barcham into the starting equation is something he will be considering.

The Pompey boss said: ‘Look at Andy Barcham. He was our best player before he came out of the team.

‘Now he can’t get back in through no fault of his own, really.

‘He hasn’t played badly but Ricky Holmes has gone out there and is working his socks off for the side.

‘He might not be creating as much at the moment as Barchy did and have people off their feet in the same way.

‘But Ricky is working his socks off defensively, maybe too much, to the detriment of going forward.

‘Then there is Jed Wallace on the other side, who is doing well.

‘Last week we looked at the side and whether we could get Barchy in with those two still on it. But the balance wasn’t quite right. We are always looking.

‘People have to realise there is competition there for places. Barchy took a bit of a knock to his knee and we didn’t want to keep pushing him because he had played all the minutes before.

‘So he had a bit of a rest but it’s gone on for a few games now.

‘He’s a good one to have around the place. He’s chirpy, on his toes and you can always hear his laugh.

‘I’m sure he will stay patient, and when he comes back in, he will know he’s valuable, needed and will put in performances.’

After Tuesday’s wash-out against Wycombe, Pompey look to continue their upwardly mobile form at Torquay.

Whittingham is encouraged by the progress but isn’t comfortable with his team’s performances just yet.

He said: ‘It’s been a good reaction, but it’s only four games.

‘We could have done better in two, maybe three, of those games.

‘It was only Rochdale where we have played all the way through.’