Jackett: It's down to Dion to assist Pompey
DION DONOHUE has been challenged to become Pompey's supply line of goals as he begins to realise his potential.
Kenny Jackett believes the versatile talent is finally finding his feet and seeing his Blues career begin to build momentum.
The 24-year-old has started six of the past seven games and settled into a left-back role that Jackett sees him remaining in for now.
It’s been an up-and-down opening to Donohue’s Pompey career, but the Welshman is now beginning to bring a consistency to his game.
Jackett praised his progress, but with a cultured left foot he wants to see him bring assists and a goal threat to the table.
The manager said: ‘Donohue’s been good and I’ve not wanted to really move him, in terms of coming in and learning to play left-back. At the moment he’s more a left-back.
‘Since he’s come back from his back injury, and in the past three games, I’ve seen a real acceleration in his form, his understanding and quality.
‘When he gets forward and delivers crosses with the ability in his left foot, I think he has the potential to be one of our top assist-makers.
‘He’s not really started shooting yet, but he needs to because he has the ability to do it.
‘Probably in the past three games I’ve seen a lot of light with him.’
Jackett feels Donohue is beginning to eradicate a tendency to opt for passing sideways and backwards from his game.
Now he wants multiple shots on goal, with Brandon Haunstrup and Sylvain Deslandes his competition in the position.
Jackett added: ‘You need to be defensively solid and a good all-round footballer, but I’m looking for him to pass forward more than he did in his first spell in the team.
‘I’m looking for him to take responsibility more, side-step people, come forward, combine with the man in front of him and get quality balls into the box.
‘I felt at the start he was passing backwards and passing square. He was probably giving the opposition more chances than he was making for us.
‘I do think he’s now passing forward, running forward and taking responsibility.
‘He has the ability to be not just a good defender and solid footballer, but someone who can make goals and chances.
‘He hasn’t started shooting yet, but I want to get him to a position where he can get two or three shots in per game from left-back. His left foot and ability level is good enough to do that.
‘In the last three games he’s definitely come on. Whether that’s a little bit of pressure from Deslandes, I don’t know.
‘Either way there’s been a little bit of time and work explaining what I want.
‘Most importantly he’s seen what he’s capable of.
‘He’s capable of taking responsibility to take the team forward and make chances. He’s capable of being a major person and character in our team.’