Pompey braced for another left-back dilemma

The left-back position is once again on the agenda as Pompey brace themselves for another potential blow.

Wednesday, 20th September 2017, 6:58 am
Updated Wednesday, 27th September 2017, 11:52 am
Damien McCrory is awaiting the results of a scan on his injured knee

The results of a scan on Damien McCrory’s twisted knee are not anticipated until tomorrow.

In the meantime, it throws up the dreaded possibility of losing another left-footed loanee through injury.

Kenny Jackett is already without the services of Tareiq Holmes-Dennis following his knee injury on the opening day of the season.

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Dion Donohue

Now he awaits the outcome of McCrory’s complaint, which forced the 27-year-old off against Fleetwood on 21 minutes.

Dion Donohue took over the role for the remainder of the match, with his right-wing corner later headed home by Jamal Lowe for the second goal on the day.

And Jackett admits McCrory has impressed during his three matches so far with the Blues.

Pompey’s boss said: ‘I like Damien, he’s a competitive player with a nice delivery from left-back and has given us a good bit of competition in that position.

Dion Donohue

‘Similarly, I thought Donohue did well on Saturday when he went on only 21 minutes in and grew as the game went on.

‘He was a little bit unlucky with Devante Cole’s goal, when he made good reactions to get to the centre-forward as he put it in, but generally he did okay.

‘Dion has a good left foot on him and looked competitive. It was a good substitute appearance.

‘It will be a miss if Damien can’t be in, although unfortunately it is what it is.

‘We have Brandon Haunstrup and Donohue, which is why you do your squad planning. Things like that happen, but it will be disappointing for Damien.

‘It is early in his Pompey career and he’s looked okay. Hopefully, it won’t be for too long.

‘We’ve had some bad luck with back-four players so far, with Whatmough, Clarke, Thompson and Holmes-Dennis.

‘Hopefully, somewhere along the line that evens up and we can settle down.’

There is no early indication as to the extent of McCrory’s injury. Instead, Pompey must wait for it to be assessed.

The loanee had impressed not only with his raids down the left flank, but also delivery from dead balls.

McCrory was instantly put on dead-ball duty from right-hand corners at AFC Wimbledon – and continued to retain that responsibility.

He has also been involved in free-kicks from the right, delivering them into the box left-footed.

Donohue’s entrance against Fleetwood saw him take over the reins both at left-back and in dead-ball areas from the right.

And Jackett feels the pair of them have improved the Blues’ dead-ball capabilities.

He added: ‘We’ve needed that, it has been too erratic too many times.

‘Deliveries have been missing the goal-scoring area completely, giving us no chance to score. So we have needed consistency with it.

‘Probably the best ones have been Gareth Evans and Kal Naismith – and if they are not in the side we need others.

‘Set-piece delivery is a big one – and McCrory and Donohue certainly give you that left foot.’