Pompey team-mate backs Smith to bounce back

Phil Smith. Picture: Joe Pepler
Phil Smith. Picture: Joe Pepler

Sonny Bradley believes Phil Smith can bounce back from losing his Pompey place.

The 33-year-old was left out in favour of John Sullivan for the visit of Chesterfield at the weekend.

Guy Whittingham has confirmed Sullivan will keep his place in tonight’s team for the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy clash at Torquay.

Smith has clearly paid the price for the Mansfield mistake which cost the Blues a chance of victory.

Now Whittingham has picked Sullivan as the man in possession of the first-team goalkeeping spot.

But Bradley believes a determined Smith will not admit defeat in the battle for a place.

He said: ‘When I came into Pompey it was always going to be tough between him and Sully.

‘I didn’t know who was going to be first choice and I don’t even think the manager did until the first day.

‘Then we have seen what Sully can do.

‘As soon as he dipped in form a bit Smithy was straight there to come in and for a few games did well.

‘There have been a couple of screamers past him which I don’t really think he could have done anything about.

‘Apart from that he has done well and been unlucky to lose his place in the team.

‘After Mansfield he has come back into training and looked fine.

‘Hopefully he won’t take it too bad and will move on.

‘I haven’t seen many games with him in the past but I am sure he has made mistakes, everyone does.

‘But he will show his character now and it will be good to see how he reacts from it.’

Smith has made four appearances for Pompey so far this season but Sullivan will play again tonight.