Knight: Pompey recruitment now vital to season

Pompey boss Kenny Jackett. Picture: Joe Pepler
Pompey boss Kenny Jackett. Picture: Joe Pepler
Pompey midfielder Ben Close. Picture: Neil Marshall

Midfielder sets sights on catching eye of Pompey boss

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Pompey legend Alan Knight gives his take on the latest goings on at Fratton Park.

All in all, we have to be reasonably pleased with the way it has gone over the Christmas period.

A last-minute goal is always a kick in the gut but Pompey are still handily placed in the play-off positions, which is very encouraging.

The worry at present, though, is playing options for the medium-long term because of the current number of injuries.

It is something you have to get through but recruitment is going to be vital to sustain this play-off push.

First task is replacing Danny Rose, who will not play again this season after something as innocuous as a drop ball.

John-Joe O’Toole was perfectly entitled to challenge for it. Maybe the referee should have been stronger in the situation or we should have put one of the big lads in there to contest the ball.

Still, we are talking about something retrospectively, it is important to now focus on filling that hole created by Danny’s absence.

The midfielder was probably playing his best football for a long time and credit to him for that with people questioning whether he could do it at this level. He has answered those questions with his performances.

Considering the way he has been playing, Danny will be tough to replace. The recruitment will have to be top notch to get somebody as good, if not better.

He’s a lovely guy who has been playing out of his skin at a time when he has been trying to resolve his future at the club.

Hopefully the injury can be sorted and he can come back and continue to impress in Pompey’s midfield for years to come.

In Danny’s absence, Pompey went to Bristol Rovers on New Year’s Day, losing to two late goals.

In fairness, Darrell Clarke’s team gave it a proper go, getting their full-backs forward, although without overtesting Luke McGee in the first half.

Billy Bodin was all over the place, working very hard but in the opening 45 minutes we dealt with it reasonably well.

After the break, it appeared both teams had decided a draw was maybe not a bad thing. There was not the same intensity, although we scored a goal out of nothing.

Then we ran out of legs a little bit in the last 10 to 15 minutes – and Rovers won the game 2-1.

I’ve played in lots of matches where you get caught sitting back inviting pressure – and we saw it happen at the Memorial Stadium.

I have to be honest, a draw might have been the fair result. I don’t think they deserved to beat us but Liam Sercombe’s late strike handed the hosts victory.