Donohue: Extra Pompey work paying dividends

Dion Donohue has revealed how extra training ground work has boosted his left-back displays.

Friday, 5th January 2018, 6:00 am
Pompey's Dion Donohue Picture: Joe Pepler
Pompey's Dion Donohue Picture: Joe Pepler

The 24-year-old has occupied the role for the past two matches in the absence of knee-injury victim Brandon Haunstrup.

It has offered Donohue another opportunity to establish himself in Kenny Jackett’s side following a low-key beginning to his Blues career.

With Haunstrup expected to miss up to eight weeks, the loan arrival of Sylvain Deslandes from Wolves now offers left-back competition.

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In the meantime, the former Chesterfield man continues to put in more hours to adapt to full-back demands.

He said: ‘It’s not my position and this is the debate – whether I am centre midfield or left-back.

‘It’s the defensive side of the game that I need to adjust to and you never stop learning.

‘Being a defender is harder than people think, especially when you have opponents running at you for 90 minutes.

‘I am sure if you asked Northampton’s full-back about Matty (Kennedy) and Jamal (Lowe) recently, he will also tell you it’s not a good place to be when they are running at you.

‘I have been given some extra work with Joe (Gallen) on the training ground and he is helping me a lot, so hopefully I can keep on improving and performing.

‘I am an attacking player and definitely better going forward than I am going the other way, but the gaffer doesn’t mind putting me there so I take that in my stride and try to improve as much as possible.

‘I would say I have improved, it’s more about developing awareness of people around you rather than the game itself.

‘I think I’m improving – but still have room for more. You never stop learning.’

Deslandes will be pushing Donohue for the left-back role for the remainder of the campaign.

With Wolves not involved in this year’s Checkatrade Trophy, the 20-year-old is eligible to feature against Chelsea under-21s on Tuesday night.

Donohue himself is eager to build on his 16 outings since arriving at Fratton Park from Chesterfield in August.

Although Jackett sees him as a midfielder, he has been asked to fill in at left-back for almost all his time on the south coast.

That has meant fighting it out with the ever-improving Haunstrup for a spot.

And while Donohue has sympathies for the youngster, whose progress has been checked from injury, he has been offered another chance.

‘Brandon has come on a long way,’ added Donohue.

‘When he has been playing he was gaining confidence with every game so it’s obviously unfortunate for him.

‘But this is football, you just have to take your chance when it comes and hopefully keep your place.

‘I would go wherever the gaffer puts me, he picks the team. I’m just happy to put the shirt on and play.’