Donohue handed Pompey midfield licence

Dion Donohue. Picture: Habibur Rahman
Dion Donohue. Picture: Habibur Rahman
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Dion Donohue has been earmarked as central-midfield competition ahead of the new campaign.

The 24-year-old largely operated at left-back during his maiden Fratton Park campaign, despite preference for a more advanced role.

Of his 32 starts, just five arrived in midfield, as he developed into an extremely effective attacking full-back.

However, the arrival of Lee Brown and Brandon Haunstrup’s encouraging development have cranked up the left-back options.

And Kenny Jackett has told Donohue of his desire to instead employ him in central midfield this season.

The former Chesterfield man said: ‘The manager had a little chat with me and said he wants me to have a good go at centre mid.

‘He backs me at left-back but, obviously from the conversation we’ve had, he said he would like me to give it a go in midfield, so we’ll see how it goes.

‘It’s a good thing for me that I have played in different positions, it gives you more chance of playing in general, and I’m looking forward to the new season.

‘I think I’m mainly be playing in midfield this season. Whether that changes over the course of pre-season, that is all down to the manager.

‘But from our initial talks, the role is midfield.’

Donohue was denied the opportunity to feature in Monday’s opening friendly of the summer.

Blisters on his left foot sidelined him from the 4-1 victory over Cork, which saw goals from Christian Burgess, Jamal Lowe and Conor Chaplin (two).

However, the Welshman returned to training yesterday, where he operated in a deep midfield role during a 10-a-side match.

Donohue is now hoping to be over the blister issues to be able to face the Hawks at Westleigh Park on Saturday (12.30pm).

Ben Close is also expected to return following the knock which ensured he missed the tour to Ireland.

Donohue added: ‘There are a lot of players at this club that can play in different positions.

‘It’s not just the back four with myself and Nathan Thompson, you’ve got Jamal Lowe who can play as a winger or out-and-out striker.

‘In my first game at Wigan, he played as a striker and was our best player that day.

‘There are new lads coming in this summer as attacking players, it isn’t narrowed down to either a winger or a striker, I think it is a very versatile squad.

‘We’ve got talent here.’