Guy Whittingham lauded a bright start to Adam Reed’s Pompey career and revealed: We want him to stay.
And the Blues caretaker boss has challenged the young midfielder to secure his future by catching the eye over the final 14 games of the campaign.
Whittingham admits he wants Reed to remain for the season – and is keeping a close eye on the 21-year-old, with building for the future in mind. But it remains impossible for any progress on that front as Pompey’s future remains in limbo.
Whittingham has been hugely impressed with Reed’s versatility and attitude since his arrival on loan from Sunderland last month.
He feels he has showcased his eye for a pass and commitment in the tackle in his six Blues games to date.
With Pompey able to sign players on only monthly deals, his current agreement runs until the end of February.
Whittingham is keen to keep him beyond that stay, though, and also knows the club have to start planning for the future.
And with Reed yet to make a first-team appearance for Sunderland and out of contract this summer, a move to Fratton Park isn’t out of the question.
Whittingham said: ‘Adam’s deal is until the end of the month. So then he would be available right through to the end of the season if he stays.
‘I think the fans are starting to see he’s a decent character as well, because he’s gone into one or two tackles.
‘There was a couple at Bournemouth which got the fans on their feet and the same again on Tuesday night.
‘I think he’s done well for us. For a slight lad he doesn’t mind putting his foot in.
‘I like the way he uses the ball well. He doesn’t hold on to the ball for too long and if he sees a pass he’ll play it.
‘He’s a decent character. I hope he’s an asset for the rest of the season.
‘I think he likes to play central midfield but has played the role on the right for us well. I’m not asking him to be an out-and-out winger. We want him to be a right-sided midfielder working up and down and coming inside.
‘We’ve brought him here to get some games and have a good look at him.
‘Ultimately it will be his decision what he does in the future. But by playing well here he might give himself some choices.’
Whittingham thanked Sunderland development coach – and ex-Blues player – Kevin Ball for his role in bringing Reed to Pompey.
He said: ‘We got some reports about him and one or two people mentioned him.
‘So we phoned Kevin Ball at Sunderland to find out first-hand what he’s like.
‘Kev spoke well of him and you listen to what Kevin Ball says. Not only is he a friend who I know but he’s a football guy through and through who knows his players.
‘So when he spoke well of Adam we were obviously going to listen to that.’