Ashdown happy after talks
By Mark Buckingham
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Jamie Ashdown is happy to know that he figures in Portsmouth's long-term plans.Jamie Ashdown has been given an upbeat bulletin about his Portsmouth future but manager Velimir Zajec is set to stick with Kostas Chalkias for the trip to Manchester United.
Up-and-coming goalkeeper Ashdown had been upset with Zajec when Chalkias was brought to Fratton Park during the January transfer window.
Ashdown had been sharing the number one duties with Shaka Hislop this season but has not had a look-in since Chalkias' signing.
Zajec has reassured Ashdown that he figures in his long-term plans, much to the delight of the keeper, who is eager to play at Old Trafford on Saturday.
"I have spoken to Velimir a couple of times since Kostas arrived and he said that for next season they will be looking at me," said Ashdown.
"He said at the moment they are looking for a bit more experience but that I am in their long-term plans.
"Playing at Manchester United would be the biggest game of my career and I would love to come away with a clean sheet."
But, with Ashdown and Hislop both struggling with flu this week, a recall is unlikely for the former Reading keeper, with Chalkias set to retain his place.
The Greece international has yet to keep a clean sheet in four Pompey appearances but Zajec has lent his support to his winter signing ahead of the game, live on Sky Sports 1.
Zajec said: "All the goalkeepers we have here are very good so we will see who will be the best.
"Chalkias is a very big name. He is the second goalkeeper for Greece.
"Every player needs time. I put him straight in the team, knowing someone of his experience could handle it. He has not made a terrible mistake yet."