ADAM WEBSTER has emphatically answered those questioning whether he can be a League Two defender.
And the young prospect’s ball-playing skills have been tipped to shine at Pompey moving forward.
Webbo was asked whether he could be a League Two defender. He’s answered that quite confidently and comfortably.Gary Waddock
But Blues caretaker boss Gary Waddock believes the 20-year-old needs to be given the time to continue his football education without the fear of making mistakes.
Webster was placed at the heart of Waddock’s plans for the four games he took charge of, after Andy Awford departed as manager.
The West Wittering man responded with a series of mature and composed displays at the back.
Webster is now one of 11 Pompey players whose contracts are drawing to a close.
But Waddock feels there is little doubt he should be part of the Blues plan moving forward.
He said: ‘Webbo (Webster) was asked whether he could be a League Two defender.
‘He’s answered that quite confidently and comfortably.
‘It suits him down to the ground to bring the ball out from the back.
‘We were able to play like that and do that for periods of games at the end of the season.
‘You have to play to players’ strengths and it suits Webbo.
‘He drives into midfield with the ball and that’s the way I’d like him to play.
‘Adam’s confidence has grown and he has shown he’s capable of playing that way.
‘If he makes a mistake he will learn from it. If he makes another mistake he will continue to learn from it.
‘I’m more than happy for him to continue doing what he’s doing.
‘Sometimes they can be costly but you have to be brave enough to take it on the chin and allow players to develop.’
Despite being just 20, next season will incredibly be Webster’s fifth at senior level.
The amount of time he has been around can be deceptive when it comes to judging his age.
There’s still plenty of learning for the England under-19 international to undertake but Waddock believes he’s handling the physical challenges of league football well.
Waddock said: ‘He’s a good footballer, a very good footballer. The key thing was, could he handle it physically?
‘If you look who he went up against at the end of the season, he handled it extremely well. The physical side is only going to improve the more games he plays.
‘Not all people are aggressive and angry people. He’s the type who is calm, composed and can play.
‘You may put someone next to him who’s a little more aggressive so there’s a balance there.
‘If he had the aggression, which he has got and has shown in certain games, he’d develop quicker.
‘But every player is different and has their strengths and weaknesses. He finished the season on top of his game and did extremely well.’