Patient Wolves loanee limbering up for Portsmouth opportunity

0
Have your say

Joe Mason will come into the reckoning as the Blues brace themselves for a hectic fixture schedule.

Kenny Jackett’s men face five games in 15 days, a gruelling period which kicks off at Rochdale on Saturday.

Joe Mason is still waiting for the chance to make his mark at Pompey. Picture: Joe Pepler

Joe Mason is still waiting for the chance to make his mark at Pompey. Picture: Joe Pepler

And that could provide an opportunity for the attacking midfielder from Wolves to finally demonstrate first-team credentials.

Mason has made two substitute appearances since his loan arrival on transfer deadline day.

Those first-team minutes total just 38, although he did complete the reserve match against Oxford United on Monday evening.

That fixture saw him net from the penalty spot to give Jake Wigley’s side a 2-1 success at the PMC Stadium in front of the watching Jackett.

And Pompey’s boss has stressed the importance of the former Cardiff man remaining patient.

Jackett said: ‘Joe has done well, he’s a good player.

‘Although he played as the nine for the reserves the other night, possibly his best position is the 10, where he can come off the bodies slightly – and he can score from there as well.

‘There’s some competition if you are looking around those positions. Oli Hawkins or Brett Pitman have been the striker, while Gareth Evans has been in the 10 almost exclusively so far.

‘We also have Louis Dennis who can play in those positions, that’s possibly five lads to two positions.

‘The circumstances are he was a long way out of the frame at Wolves and had a tough pre-season, but looks fit enough and ready to play if needed.

‘He has to bide his time at the moment, but has a fantastic work-rate and good passing, touch, ability and goalscoring.

‘I’m pleased with his attitude, he has to be patient.’

Among Mason’s fellow loanees, David Wheeler has also yet to start a league match.

Ben Thompson has occupied the bench for the past two matches, while Andre Green is injured after just one league outing.

Jackett added: ‘When you are taking loan players you don’t know what injuries you’re going to get, you don’t know how the form of other players will be.

‘You are working during a period in the transfer window where you are not looking at 11 players, but somewhere between 20-24.

‘You need to get as strong as possible to look after yourself through the course of the season – and hopefully give yourself good options.’