Haunstrup out to cement his Pompey place

Brandon Haunstrup returned to start against Luton. Picture: Joe Pepler

Brandon Haunstrup is out to put an end to Pompey’s left-back problem.

The Blues Academy product returned to Kenny Jackett’s starting line-up in Saturday’s 1-0 defeat at Luton and knows he has to cement his place in the team.

Pompey have endured wretched luck on the left-hand side of defence since Enda Stevens’ summer departure.

Tareiq Holmes-Dennis was originally brought in from Huddersfield on loan to fill the void.

However, he suffered a long-term injury knee injury in the League One curtain-raiser victory against Rochdale.

And Damien McCrory has returned to Burton so they can assess his knee setback.

As it stands, Haunstrup is battling Dion Donohue for a spot at left-back.

The 20-year-old is wary it is down to him to impress Jackett and nail down his spot.

‘I’ve got to focus and get my head down to try to give the manager a problem,’ said Haunstrup.

‘I’m taking everything on board.

‘When you’re on the bench and someone else is in your position, you’re focusing on the opposition winger in case you are called upon.

‘You are doing analysis before and after games about the opposition – you try to do as much as possible.

‘Keeping your fitness up in training is important, although there’s nothing like match fitness and that will come the more you play.

‘The gaffer has been very good since he came in.

‘He has given us all a lot of information to take on board.

‘All of the staff have – Joe (Gallen), Blakey (Robbie Blake) and it’s good for a young player like me who is learning my trade to crack on and get my head down.

‘All the experienced players in the team are great as well.

‘They give you a lot of information before and during games.

‘Dion is a very good player but he prefers playing in central midfield.

‘It’s a big chance for me to kick on and try to cement the position.’

Haunstrup’s appearance at Luton represented his first start in over two months.

Following on from Holmes-Dennis’ injury, he made five successive starts before falling behind McCrory and Donohue in Jackett’s pecking order.

The youngster revealed he has been working hard to marry up the defensive and attacking aspects of his game while on the sidelines.

He added: ‘The gaffer wants his defenders to be defenders first and foremost.

‘It’s about getting the mixture of when it’s right to go forward and when you need to defend.

‘When you get into one-on-one situations, you have to gamble and focus on getting the ball into the box.

‘That is the first thing like I did for Chaplin at Wigan.

‘It’s about getting your head up and picking a man out in the box.’

More from Sport