Lowe proves he’s on Pompey high

Jamal Lowe celebrates his second goal against Fleetwood. Picture: Joe Pepler
Jamal Lowe celebrates his second goal against Fleetwood. Picture: Joe Pepler
Former Pompey favourite Enda Stevens. Picture: Joe Pepler

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Jamal Lowe has been tasked to add more effectiveness to his attacking powers by Kenny Jackett.

The Pompey boss lauded the winger’s impact this season but has now urged him to become more of a threat in the final third.

Nonetheless, the former Hampton & Richmond talent has been a revelation in his first full season at Fratton Park.

He’s arguably acclimatised to his new League One surroundings quicker than many of his team-mates and will only improve as his playing days progress.

Behind Brett Pitman, Jackett clearly regards the 23-year-old as his main attacking threat.

Despite being sent off in the League One curtain-raiser against Rochdale, no outfield player has appeared more for Pompey this season.

The Blues have a potent attacking force that includes Kyle Bennett, Conor Chaplin, Gareth Evans, Matty Kennedy and Kal Naismith.

However, Lowe has been the only mainstay in the Blues’ forward line.

The attacker arrived at Pompey from Hampton & Richmond in January and made an immediate impact in Paul Cook’s League Two-title winning side.

From 14 appearances, he netted four goals – including a double at Notts County which sealed Pompey’s promotion from the Football League’s basement division.

Five of those appearances were starts, with the other nine coming off the bench.

In total, he played 521 minutes in League Two.

That figure has already been eclipsed by Lowe in the third tier this term, having been out on the pitch for almost four times the amount he was in the last campaign.

He’s featured for 1,894 minutes and forced Bennett, Naismith and Evans to become bit-part players.

And the large majority of Lowe’s appearances this term have been starts.

From 22 appearances, he’s made 20 starts – and he more than likely would have played from the outset at Doncaster if it wasn’t for the birth of his daughter.

Nonetheless, he’s been substituted just once in Pompey’s 1-0 victory against Southend – and that was in the 87th minute as Jackett looked to protect the lead.

In contrast, he never completed 90 minutes under Cook.

Lowe has already equalled his goalscoring tally from last season, while he has also crucially added creativity to his game.

He didn’t record a single assist last season, while this term to date he’s racked up three.

Jackett now wants to see more of an end product from the ex-Hemel Hempstead attacker.

He’s failed to score in his past 15 games – and it has been nine games since Lowe yielded an assist.

Nonetheless, it’s easy to forget he was still plying his trade in the sixth tier of football less than 12 months ago.

If he can improve in the goal and assist department, Lowe will become an ever greater asset to Pompey than he already is.