Young gun tasked with battling back into Pompey first-team picture

Brandon Haunstrup Picture: Joe Pepler
Brandon Haunstrup Picture: Joe Pepler
Joe Pigott celebrates Southend's winner against Pompey in League Two. Picture: Joe Pepler

Southend’s sterling record in November ahead of Pompey clash

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BRANDON HAUNSTRUP has been challenged to force his way back into the Pompey first-team picture.

Kenny Jackett wants to see Haunstrup doing everything he can to return to the senior equation.

The Blues boss was pleased with what he saw from the left-back during a 23-minute outing in Sunday’s 1-0 win at Gillingham.

Haunstrup replaced the injured Dion Donohue in defence and helped his team see out the game.

Jackett wasn’t so satisfied with the Waterlooville talent’s contribution against Crawley, however.

Donohue is expected to be available to face MK Dons on Saturday following a dead leg against the Gills.

After five starts, Haunstrup has not made a full appearances since the start of September.

Jackett wants to see the 20-year-old pushing for more first-team minutes, though.

He said: ‘I was pleased with Haunstrup coming on.

‘He didn’t do enough coming on against Crawley to defend and help us. But he did against Gillingham. He looked more like a defender.

‘Brandon should be giving me problems now and pushing his way back into the team. He’s capable of that.’

With Damien McCrory battling back from a knee injury, it’s Donohue who’s currently in possession of the left-back shirt.

Despite playing in midfield against Crawley last week and in a more attacking role for the 1-1 draw at Wigan last month, the majority of his eight Pompey appearances have been at left-back.

The Welshman has experience in that role but Jackett can still see he’s learning his trade in that area of the pitch.

The manager added: ‘Dion Donohue is a good player but makes some mistakes at times at left-back.

‘When he does that he looks like a midfield player playing left-back.

‘But the more he plays there the more he learns.’