Jackett’s message as forward gets set for Portsmouth debut

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Louis Dennis has been told: I believe you’re good enough.

Kenny Jackett has promised the Pompey attacker he feels he can make an impact at Fratton Park.

Pompey's Louis Dennis. Picture: Neil Marshall

Pompey's Louis Dennis. Picture: Neil Marshall

Dennis is set to be handed a long-awaited Blues debut as his side go to Crawley in the Checkatrade Trophy.

The 25-year-old has not seen a minute of first-team action since arriving from National League Bromley in the summer.

It’s been a tough period for Dennis as he’s had to be patient as Pompey start the season powerfully in League One.

But Jackett has stressed he believes the former Dagenham & Redbridge front man has the quality to make the grade after handing the pacy talent a two-year deal.

The Pompey boss stressed he would’ve made it clear he didn’t rate Dennis if he didn’t feel he possessed the talent needed to make a mark.

Now the former Watford academy player is finally set to be given his chance to shine at Broadfield Stadium in his side’s second group outing.

And Jackett is anticipating Dennis being fresh and hungry to take his chance.

He said: ‘I’ve been honest with him.

‘I’ve said to him if I didn’t rate you I would tell you, and then he could move on and set himself up.

‘I don’t feel that’s the case.

‘We’ve got into quite a good pattern and been quite successful.

‘I do feel, though, that if he keeps working away he has a lot of quality.

‘When he does play at any stage this season we’ll be getting a fresh player.

‘That’s why you squad plan, because things change.

‘I’ve been honest with and if I didn’t think he was up to scratch I’d tell him.

‘But he is a good player and his chances will come.

‘When they do we’ll have a fresh player - and that will be good.’

Joe Mason also looks set to be given a runout as Pompey take on new Crawley manager Gabriele Cioffi’s side. Mason has been restricted to 38 minutes of action from the subs’ bench since joining on loan from Wolves.

Jackett added: We’ve played Hawkins and we’ve played Pitman. There’s been different players off the striker, mainly Gareth Evans who’s been the most frequent.

‘For those two guys – Dennis and Mason – the nine and 10 positions are the ones they are most comfortable in, where they’ve played their football and where they are competing.’