Pitman poised for Portsmouth landmark

Brett Pitman is poised to mark his 50th Pompey game on Saturday. Picture: Joe Pepler
Brett Pitman is poised to mark his 50th Pompey game on Saturday. Picture: Joe Pepler
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A return to Pompey’s side at Rochdale would represent a double achievement for Brett Pitman.

For Saturday’s fixture could potentially mark the prolific striker’s 50th Blues appearance.

The former Bournemouth man has been handed just one League One start all season – the opening match against Luton.

Yet even that didn’t last beyond half-time, with Oli Hawkins introduced at the interval in the August 1-0 win.

Hawkins has remained an automatic choice ever since, named in Kenny Jackett’s line-up for eight-successive matches.

Pitman, however, has scored in each of his last three Pompey appearances, including last weekend’s 2-2 draw with Wycombe.

It’s that eye-catching return from last season’s 25-goal striker which may convince Jackett to hand him a recall for the trip to Spotland.

Regardless, heading into the clash with Keith Hill’s 14th-placed side, Pitman has featured 49 times and scored 28 goals since arriving from Ipswich in July 2017.

Instantly installed as club captain following the switch for an undisclosed fee, the 30-year-old produced an outstanding maiden campaign.

His 25 goals in 41 matches represented the first Pompey player to break the 20-goal barrier since Svetoslav Todorov in 2002-03.

This term he has featured eight times, of which five appearances have come as a substitute.

During his time on the bench, the captaincy has switched to Gareth Evans, who also scored in last weekend’s 2-2 draw with Wycombe.

Incidentally, Evans is Pompey’s leading appearance-maker in the current squad, with 140 outings and 22 goals.