MATTY KENNEDY has been told to stay patient.
Kenny Jackett believes the Pompey winger can count himself unlucky to be out of his starting XI.
Kennedy has found himself on the bench through the Blues’ recent upturn in fortunes.
The Scottish talent has started just one of the past eight games – the 2-1 loss at Peterborough last month.
The 23-year-old made a decent impact after arriving on a season-long loan from Cardiff City.
Kennedy grabbed 17 appearances before his recent dearth of playing time.
Jackett pointed to the re-emergence of Gareth Evans as being a factor in his lack of starts.
He said: ‘He’s been unlucky to be out of the side.
‘With Evans coming back in, Lowe and Matty Kennedy it’s quite a strong area for us.
‘Naismith can play there, Bennett can play there and Lalkovic as and when he’s fit.
‘We’ve had good choices there all season.
‘We know as and when he comes back into the team we have an effective player.
‘Matty Kennedy is a good player at this level.’
Jamal Lowe has been a consistent first choice for Jackett, with suspension the only reason for his absence this season.
The other attacking players at Jackett’s disposal have all had to endure stints out of the first team, however.
Evans went through a period of one league start in 12 games, after being sent off at Wigan at the end of August.
Naismith also failed to make a single League One outing across the same period, before returning in the win at Blackpool.
Kyle Bennett has been in and out of the team all season, making 13 starts and seven appearances off the bench.
Jackett highlighted how fortunes can very quickly change for any of the players finding minutes on the pitch hard to come by.
He said: ‘Things can turn around.
‘He’s been unfortunate to find himself out of the side.
‘Of recent weeks, the wide areas have been filled by Evans and Lowe. They’ve both done very well.’