Whittingham explains Williamson finale absence

1330_WALSALL_PFC_4/1/13. ''(left) Lee Williamson and Adam Chambers. ''Npower League 1 action, Walsall FC V Portsmouth FC, from the Banks's Stadium, Walsall, Birmingham. ''Picture: Allan Hutchings (1330-077)
1330_WALSALL_PFC_4/1/13. ''(left) Lee Williamson and Adam Chambers. ''Npower League 1 action, Walsall FC V Portsmouth FC, from the Banks's Stadium, Walsall, Birmingham. ''Picture: Allan Hutchings (1330-077)

Guy Whittingham revealed departing trio Jon Harley, Mustapha Dumbuya and Lubomir Michalik were in his squad against Notts County.

But Lee Williamson, whose contract is also up tomorrow, was not selected and has already left Fratton Park.

Saturday’s fixture was called off for a waterlogged pitch at 1pm amid heavy rain, a decision surely not disputed by anyone.

For some of the Blues players it thwarted the opportunity for a farewell against the Magpies before their Pompey contracts expire.

Harley and Dumbuya were both pencilled in for the bench after asking to feature while it was Michalik’s last outing before leaving England for a club abroad.

Brian Howard underwent a hernia operation on Friday, ruling him out.

However, Whittingham admitted he decided against including Williamson in the squad.

James Keene and Jed Wallace were set to named, though.

The Blues boss said: ‘Lubo, Muzzy and Jon were all in the squad, although Lee Williamson wasn’t.

‘He felt he was able to give his all but it was a choice I made to say to him ‘look I’m not going to put you in that situation’.

‘If I am going to put somebody on the pitch I want to know they are going to give their all.

‘I am not saying he wouldn’t have done but how would he feel and I feel if I’d asked him to play and he has gone into a tackle and broken his leg?

‘We can’t keep him on if he’s got an injury which is going to keep him out for a while. I’m not going to tell you my team but the other three were all part of the squad and available for selection.

‘They have all left now, though. I know one or two have clubs to go to, so what’s the point of them training with us today or tomorrow?’

The majority of players had already arrived when the game was called off.

For Whittingham it was the correct decision.

He added: ‘The officials walked out there first about 12.15pm and despite trying to put a brave face on, you knew if it kept raining it was going to be in doubt.

‘At 1pm if it stopped raining that pitch drains very well and there was a chance.

‘But with the forecast saying it was going to be heavy until 7pm there was no chance.’

– NEIL ALLEN