Pompey boss mulling over Racon Oxford presence

Thery Racon returned
Thery Racon returned

Thery Racon could be set for a second consecutive start as he seeks to build his match fitness.

But Blues boss Guy Whittingham has ruled out the Frenchman playing the full 90 minutes at the Kassam Stadium tonight.

Racon reignited his central-midfield partnership with Johnny Ertl last weekend and helped Pompey to a comfortable 3-0 success over Rochdale.

In the process, Ertl turned in his best performance of the season so far following some disappointing displays.

Whittingham must decide whether to accommodate Gavin Mahon against Oxford in tonight’s Johnstone’s Paint Trophy fixture, as well as give Racon another outing or potentially recall Romain Padovani.

Regardless, he does not want to overwork the former Millwall man having just made his first competitive appearance since April.

But for Whittingham, the attributes Racon brings to his side could be crucial in driving Pompey into the next round of the competition.

He said: ‘We will see about Thery.

‘I don’t think he will be able to get through the 90 minutes, but I do think he will be able to play a bit of the game.

‘You know he’s a player that can actually take care of the ball and has got the experience of playing with us last year. He knows a fair few of the players and obviously Johnny from last season as well, so they fitted in well.

‘He is not here to score goals, he is here to add a little bit of know-how and ball retention to our side and I think he did that fantastically well against Rochdale.

‘If he weighs in with a goal or two then that will be fantastic.

‘He reads the game well and gets close. I think it helped (against Rochdale) that we weren’t so spread out, we were a bit more compact when we were on the ball and off the ball.

‘Although we want to try to play expansive football and attractive football, we have to first and foremost make sure we don’t make it easy to be played against.’

Racon was an ever-present at Pompey last season after joining on loan from Millwall.

He played in the final 16 matches of the season, almost all as a central midfielder.

That came as the Blues improved their form.

The 29-year-old failed to agree terms on a return early in the summer but is now back.