O'Neil warning for Thatcher
By Andrew Scurr
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Gary O'Neil has warned Ben Thatcher to be ready for a hostile reception at Fratton Park.
Gary O'Neil has warned Ben Thatcher to be ready for a hostile reception at Fratton Park on Saturday.
Thatcher's new club Charlton play Portsmouth at the weekend, with the full-back far from a favourite among the South Coast faithful.
While at Manchester City, the 31-year-old put Pompey's Pedro Mendes in hospital with a horrific challenge.
If selected on Saturday, Thatcher will come up against Portsmouth for the first time since the incident last August.
And O'Neil has told the former Wimbledon defender to be ready for the stick that is sure to come his way.
"He should make a decision himself about whether he plays," O'Neil said in The Sun.
"If it was me, I'd take the stick I deserved - I would take it on the chin just like Pedro had to.
"He can't avoid playing at Fratton Park for the rest of his life."Meanwhile, Hampshire Police will not be increasing security measures because of the circumstances surrounding the game.
A spokesman confirmed: "We are aware of the circumstances but we are confident our standard procedure for Pompey matches will be sufficient to cope."