Pompey boss launches left-back hunt

Tareiq Holmes-Dennis. Picture: Joe Pepler
Tareiq Holmes-Dennis. Picture: Joe Pepler
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Pompey are in the market for a new left-back after it emerged Tareiq Holmes-Dennis faces a lengthy spell on the sidelines.

The Huddersfield loanee damaged his knee on his debut against Rochdale on Saturday, forcing him off in the first half.

Brandon Haunstrup pleased Kenny Jackett with his display against Cardiff. Picture: Joe Pepler

Brandon Haunstrup pleased Kenny Jackett with his display against Cardiff. Picture: Joe Pepler

Tests have pinpointed he is likely to miss at least three to four months with the problem, although a second opinion is booked in for Friday.

Still, Kenny Jackett has already drawn up contingency plans as he braces himself to be without Holmes-Dennis for a long period of time.

Brandon Haunstrup served at left-back in last night’s 2-1 Carabao Cup defeat at Cardiff City.

However, Jackett is on the hunt for more competition in the position.

The boss said: ‘With Tareiq, it is a minimum of three to four months. It doesn’t look a good one.

‘He is going to see another specialist on Friday but the signs don’t look good.

‘It was a pretty innocuous situation anyway.

‘He came off the pitch, stepped on to the astroturf, his footing went wrong and the inside of his knee – well he has shaken it up quite badly.

‘He actually felt it quite early in the game and tried to run it off.

‘But it didn’t go away and he had to come off.

‘It is frustrating but I am sure he’ll be back and back stronger.

‘I was pleased with Brandon last night.

‘But to go into the season with just one left-back isn’t the right thing and I would like two specialist left-backs at the club.

‘Searching for someone else is something we have been running alongside trying to assess Tareiq’s injury in the last few days.’

Holmes-Dennis arrived at Fratton Park from Premier League Huddersfield in July on a season-long loan to replace Enda Stevens.

The highly-regarded full-back had been challenged to fill the gulf left by the departure of The News/Sports Mail’s player of the season for Sheffield United.

He swiftly caught the eye during pre-season and certainly suggested he could prove to be an excellent acquisition.

However, he has now become the latest injury casualty to Pompey’s defensive unit – and it is still early August.

Nathan Thompson (foot) and Matt Clarke (groin) are still missing for the Blues – only two matches into the 2017-18 season.

Jackett added: ‘We need Thompson and Clarke back but that’s just the way it is.

‘Injuries happen but when they come back we will be even stronger as a group.’