Brett Pitman – the new arrival in Portsmouth’s search for creative combination
Brett Pitman has made his grand entrance, staking a persuasive claim to feature in a pivotal creative combination.
Now Kenny Jackett must decide whether to reward the 31-year-old with a longer presence serving in Pompey’s number 10 role.
The Blues have employed Oli Hawkins situated in front of 12-goal Gareth Evans for the majority of the campaign in a double act which has yielded a highly-effective cutting edge.
For Jackett, his team’s nine and 10 positions must operate as ‘main creators’.
Now Pitman has entered the equation, conjuring up an eye-catching 14-minute cameo in Saturday’s Charlton loss.
Pompey tonight head to Walsall (7.45pm) in an encounter they must win to maintain fading hopes of automatic promotion.
And with Omar Bogle also back from injury, Jackett is weighing up combinations.
He said: ‘In terms of the partnership at the end of Charlton, James Vaughan in the nine and Brett at 10 helped us.
‘Slightly different types of players have played there so far, mainly this season it has been Hawkins and Evans.
‘For us they are very big positions in terms of creating and scoring goals.
‘We’ll have to see about selection in terms of combinations, you are always looking to maximise every combination.
‘Your nine and 10 are your front two in effect. Hawkins has a lot of assists and nine goals, while Evans has 12 goals, a lot of assists as well and takes the set-pieces.
‘They're big positions – and quite rightly share a lot of the focus with every football team.
‘It’s about combinations and complements. Yes, Brett has to do well himself, but the complement around you does help.
‘Matching Brett and Oli hasn’t quite worked for me to be fair, it hasn’t been quite fluent enough. Something just hasn’t just worked.
‘I haven’t seen Bogle with Pitman yet, either in training or games.’
Having been marginalised in recent weeks, suddenly Pitman has fought back.
Jackett added: ‘Brett has battled back well.
‘The gap between last featuring at Luton and Charlton was five weeks and, to be fair to him, he’s fought back well. When you get your chance, you have to try to take it.
‘Brett has given us food for thought, definitely.’