Whittingham: McLeod had to go

26/12/12 ''Pompeys Izale McLeod comes on against Crawley Town during the two sides league one tussle at Fratton Park. 'Picture: Ian Hargreaves  (124169-24)
26/12/12 ''Pompeys Izale McLeod comes on against Crawley Town during the two sides league one tussle at Fratton Park. 'Picture: Ian Hargreaves (124169-24)

Izale McLeod trudged to the dressing room at half-time against Yeovil with boos ringing in his ears – and never reappeared for Portsmouth Football Club.

Within 24 hours the Blues’ top scorer had departed, his contract cancelled by mutual consent with 16 days still remaining.

For Guy Whittingham there was no other possible outcome, despite the overwhelming need for goals in the side during their struggle to avoid the drop.

Not that McLeod objected to an early parting of the ways, the caretaker boss acknowledging the striker was ‘keen’ on such an exit.

Some sections of the Fratton faithful had never taken to the ex-Barnet man, his performances of late had certainly done him no favours.

In addition, a booking against Yeovil for dissent – his third in four matches – ensured he was suspended anyway for the New Year’s Day trip to Swindon.

Now McLeod’s Pompey career has ended.

Whittingham said: ‘I just think it was better for all parties for him to go.

‘He was going to miss the Swindon game, he was obviously going somewhere else.

‘The performances on the pitch haven’t been the best – mind you he hasn’t been the only one – so it was probably the best all-round decision.

‘It was a mutual agreement and I think he was quite keen on the idea anyway.

‘Why waste our money on someone who isn’t going to be here?

‘I think it showed in Izale’s game for a few matches to be honest with you. The fans are no fools either.

‘You can always look back and say you should have done something about it earlier but he was still contracted to us and still the top goalscorer.

‘You make decisions that you think are the right ones at the time but ultimately the decision to do it earlier was the best decision made.

‘He didn’t once come up to me and say “I’m leaving”. You just gather the information available and make the decision.’

McLeod has followed Josh Thompson and Jack Compton out of the Fratton Park exit this month.

They are unlikely to be the last, with so many contracts expiring in January.

Gabor Gyepes’ current one-month deal expires on January 5 – although he has been offered another.

The majority of players see theirs end on January 15, including Mustapha Dumbuya, Simon Eastwood, Liam Walker, Jon Harley, Brian Howard and Lee Williamson.

In addition, Ricardo Rocha’s finishes on January 19.

For Whittingham the scenario reflects the instability which continues to grip the club.

He added: ‘What is disappointing is it has ended up being that way that Izale has been able to leave.

‘That’s the disappointing part – we are in the situation where we are and are having to make decisions like that.

‘Whether if it’s a good player or a not-so-good player, it is disappointing those sort of things are happening to this great club.

‘We have got to strive to make sure these sort of things which have happened this season don’t happen again.’