Pompey boss insists Donohue’s chance will come

Dion Donohue. Picture: Joe Pepler
Dion Donohue. Picture: Joe Pepler
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Dion Donohue’s first-team chance will come.

That is the message from Kenny Jackett as the August arrival continues to struggle to earn match action.

He’ll keep waiting, keep working, he’s on the fringe of it at the moment and when he gets his chance will be ready

Kenny Jackett

The 24-year-old has not made an appearance since he was substituted 53 minutes into his debut at Wigan.

Recruited from Chesterfield for an undisclosed fee, Donohue is regarded by Jackett as a central midfielder.

However, Adam May and Stuart O’Keefe presently occupy those two slots, while Ben Close appeared from the bench at Northampton Town on Tuesday night.

In the meantime, Donohue has been an unused substitute in the Blues’ past three fixtures.

But his manager is convinced opportunities for the Welshman are around the corner.

Jackett said: ‘These are early days for Dion to go straight in, particularly in that position.

‘He is certainly challenging strong in training – and his chance will definitely come.

‘I feel central midfield is his best position and he’s looking for a break in there.

‘He will keep waiting, keep working, he’s on the fringe of it at the moment and when he gets his chance will be ready – and he will because he’s a good footballer.

‘There is a lot of competition in terms of central midfield, with Adam May and Stuart O’Keefe, while on the bench is Ben Close. There is also Danny Rose.

‘However, Donohue does give me a left foot, which provides us with balance.

‘Wigan was a tough game for Dion. I played him on the left-hand side – trying to thicken up the midfield knowing the way they play.

‘I don’t think it particularly worked but we did well as a team to scrap out a draw.

‘The sending off changed the game, up until then Wigan were in control.

‘From that position the game slightly passed Dion by but I wouldn’t necessarily judge him on that.

‘Having said that, it was good for him to play and get out there.’

Donohue can also operate as a left-back and, with a long-term injury to Tareiq Holmes-Dennis, that was a consideration.

However, Jackett has opted to retain him in a midfield capacity – instead recruiting Damien McCrory on deadline day.

Yet it definitely remains an option.

Jackett added: ‘Central midfield and left-back are Dion’s two positions but at the moment his focus is central midfield.

‘It was a consideration putting him left-back.

‘I felt I wanted some experience and experience of the division as a complement to Brandon (Haunstrup) – and McCrory became available

‘But I also feel while Dion can play left-back, central midfield is his strength.

‘He brings athleticism, a good passing range and a very nice left foot.’