Pompey man's versatility keeping him in first-team frame
In a period of Fratton Park evolution, Jamal Lowe has found himself an ongoing presence.
An ability to diversify has ensured he is one of the few old guard to have found first-team favour with new boss Kenny Jackett.
Although even Lowe admits serving at right wing-back ventures out of his comfort zone.
With two goals against Fleetwood last weekend, the popular winger has opened his League One goal account.
That represented a fifth successive start for the 23-year-old after completing a three-match suspension following a red card in Pompey’s curtain-raiser win against Rochdale.
Upon his return Lowe has operated as a striker at Wigan and then on the right of the attacking three, most recently in that 4-1 triumph over the Cod Army.
Then there was that outing at wing-back in the home clash with Rotherham as Jackett lined up with a 3-4-1-2 formation.
It was to be a remit which lasted 45 minutes before the Blues boss scrapped the system at half-time in an attempt to get a foothold back in the game.
And while Lowe is a versatile performer, he admits that is one role he doesn’t savour.
He said: ‘I’ve never played there before.
‘It’s a lot of running because you are the only width in the team going forward.
‘Then again, you are the only width defensively as well!
‘I wouldn’t say it is two people’s jobs, it’s just a lot of running and a lot of positional know-how which I probably don’t have at the moment. But I try to do my best.
‘It gives me an insight into how fit somebody who plays there is.
‘It’s probably the most mileage I have done in a game this year.
‘We had a bit of practice in training in advance of the game, but to do it on a match day is completely different.
‘The tempo is near-enough the same, but you never do it for 90 minutes straight in training.
‘You might do it for 45 minutes and think “This is a little bit hard” but 90 minutes is a whole lot different.
‘It is a new position for me although if the gaffer goes for it again I am more than happy to learn and work on it.’
Lowe has scored eight times in 21 appearances since joining from Hampton & Richmond in January.
It’s an impressive return from a player back in the Football League following an unsuccessful entrance with Barnet five years ago.
He was already beginning to edge level with Carl Baker at the end of last term, regularly replacing him from the bench during the run in.
Now he is the preferred option on the right-hand side of midfield.
In addition, there remains that right wing-back alternative.
Lowe added: ‘As a kid I was always a striker, so it’s easier for me to go up front than right wing-back.
‘I’ve moved about a few positions so hopefully it’s good for the side. If we need to change shape, I can move around.
‘We’ve had a few changes this season, but are trying to find a little bit of stability and get a team together with a spine.’