Pompey recruit earmarked for creative input

New loan arrival Rhys McCabe
New loan arrival Rhys McCabe
Pompey boss Kenny Jackett was handed a fresh Fratton Park contract this week  Picture: Joe Pepler

Pompey statement defies football’s knee-jerk nature

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Richie Barker has put his faith in Rhys McCabe to unlock Pompey’s goal-scoring capabilities.

The Blues are crying out for creativity in midfield, with only five goals registered in their past nine matches.

The potential solution has been identified as McCabe, who has linked-up at Fratton Park until the end of the season.

The 21-year-old has managed just two starts for the Owls this season and nine appearances in total as Stuart Gray has stuck with the players who have steered them up the Championship table.

It’s a first-team absence which has allowed Barker to bring him to League Two in his search for midfield imagination.

McCabe will now push to line-up alongside Toumani Diagouraga in the engine room for the crucial match against York this coming weekend.

And Pompey’s boss is convinced the former Rangers player possesses the talents to add an attacking instinct so worryingly absent from his side in recent weeks.

Barker said: ‘Rhys is a technical player who, despite his age, has got experience at a high level.

‘He is fairly attacking and has played further forward in his time, I see him as being a creative player for us.

‘He is central midfielder but can play in different systems and perhaps will be able to move out a little bit wider in a side.

‘But I believe he is somebody who can be creative for us in the middle of the park primarily.

‘We are coming into the last nine games of the season and need to add more goals to our game, Rhys can help that happen.

‘I have done quite a lot of research on him and spoken to a lot of people who regard him very highly.

‘He has the talent to either score or create and hopefully we will bear the fruits of that now he is here.’

The Scotland under-21 international has netted twice in 32 appearances for the Owls since joining from Rangers in the summer of 2012.

He started his career at Ibrox, rising through the youth ranks to feature nine times.