Jackett: Surprise Haunstrup switch gives Pompey balance

Kenny Jackett believes Brandon Haunstrup can bring crucial balance down Pompey's left flank.

Monday, 30th July 2018, 6:06 pm
Updated Friday, 31st August 2018, 5:00 pm
Brandon Haunstrup congratulates Anton Walkes on his Utrecht strike. Picture: Ben Queenborough

And he hasn't ruled out the youngster again featuring in midfield when the League One campaign kicks off on Saturday.

The 21-year-old has surprisingly served on the left-hand side of midfield in a 4-4-2 system during Pompey's past two friendlies.

With Jackett finalising his set-up ahead of the August 4 curtain-raiser against Luton, a positional switch for the left-back represents an intriguing selection.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Brandon Haunstrup congratulates Anton Walkes on his Utrecht strike. Picture: Ben Queenborough

But the Blues boss is convinced Haunstrup can bolster the side in a more attacking role.

He said: '˜Against Brighton and Utrecht we went two up front so needed to narrow off the midfield slightly, so that helped us.

 '˜Brandon has very good energy, good quality and brings enthusiasm to the group. Whatever position you ask him to play, he gives you everything and generally turns out a good performance.

'˜I don't think it's too much different from playing left-back, he is an attacking left-back anyway so when he gets on the ball has quite a lot of energy and is naturally left-footed.

'˜We do sometimes lack a natural left-footer out there. We have always played a right-footer so  our moves can break down by either going  backwards or inside.

'˜That was too much the case last year I felt, where we needed to be able to go forward down that side. Albeit with our injuries,  we had some disruptions down the left. 

'˜We want to be more settled this year and have a flow going forward '“ and we'll see how Brandon develops there.

'˜Left-footers are like gold dust, if you haven't got that balance in the team it can be difficult in terms of going forward and your distribution.'

Haunstrup made 20 appearances last season, earning a new two-year deal this summer.

 However, each of his 16 starts came at left-back.

Jackett  added: '˜Brandon is very good in the group, good individually wherever you put him, whatever you ask him to do. He will always do a good job and give 100 per cent.

'˜We have Dion  Donohue at some stage to come into left-back consideration, but I do feel midfield is going to be his preferred position.

'˜It's just making sure there is a balance.'

Have you read?