Thursday, December 18, 2008

Marc Wilson shines in Pompey debut

Ireland international Marc Wilson basked in a fine full Portsmouth debut but then declared: I want to go out on loan.

The 21-year-old from Co. Antrim, who had previously made just one substitute appearance for the first team, was handed his first start in an unfamiliar right-back role in last night's 3-0 UEFA cup win over Heerenveen.

But after an impressive all-round display that also included an inch-perfect cross for Peter Crouch's opener, the Republic of Ireland under-21 international revealed he was again keen to leave Fratton Park in a loan deal to gain more first-team experience.

In Wednesday night’s meaningless three-goal UEFA Cup victory over the Dutch side Heerenveen, Adams gave a full first team debut to 20-year-old Marc Wilson and later added the best possible endorsement of his talents a young defender could hope to receive.

Adams played the young Irishman at right back and after a nervous first five minutes he settled down to lay on one headed

And after the 6 ft 2 inch youngster earned the man of the match accolade from most neutrals in the press box Adams revealed: 'His attitude was very good - and he’s not even a right back.'

Wilson, who has previously enjoyed loan spells at Bournemouth and Luton, said: 'The manager has told me I'm part of his plans but I think both of us want to get me out on loan to play some football.

'We've got Glen Johnson who is a great right-back and has been different class for us this season so I think it will be very hard for me to get into the team at this moment in time. So I think the best thing is for me to get out on loan and play some football, although if the chance comes along to play in the team, of course I will take it.

'I've spoken to the gaffer and he thinks it would be a good idea to go out and get some experience at a Championship club.'

Although Wilson is predominantly a central midfielder or a centre-back, he slotted in effortlessly at right-back and produced a succession of inviting crosses – particularly in the first half.

Wilson said: 'It was great to be out there playing.

'Right-back is not my position – generally, I'm a midfield player but I enjoyed every minute of it. But I wasn't very nervous before the game and I felt pretty comfortable.'

Speaking after last nights win, Portsmouth boss Tony Adans said:

“I was delighted with Marc Wilson. I think he’s got every chance. He’s two-footed, can head the ball and is quick and strong.

“He put in some tremendous crosses from right-back, but I do see him as a centre-back. I think he can do it in the Premier League as a central defender.

“He needs to be playing every week. Unfortunately I think the best thing for me to do with him is to get him out on loan, maybe to a Championship side. I don’t think reserve-team football is probably good enough for him to learn his trade.

“He’s that close, but obviously at the moment he’s not better than Glen Johnson, Sol Campbell or Sylvain Distin.

“His attitude is fantastic. He wants to train and is the first one out and last one in.”

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