KENNY JACKETT revealed it’s now a nip-and-tuck battle for Pompey’s left-back berth.
The Blues boss explained the margins are now tight when it comes to choosing who’s his first choice in the first position.
Dion Donohue got the nod to start at Rochdale on Saturday, after he came back into the equation after the birth of his son.
Brandon Haunstrup could count himself unlucky to be out of the starting XI, after impressing in the 2-1 win over Wigan last week
Jackett told how he decided to opt for Donohue’s greater experience, but the margins were small when making the decision.
He said: ‘Brandon’s been in and out the side.
‘Sometimes that’s the best thing for a young player.
‘We’ve seen this season if you just leave players in all the time, it may not help. It can drain them a bit.
‘I think for Brandon he’s come in and out of the side.
‘I explained the situation to him (on Saturday).
‘Dion Donohue’s been outstanding, but it was a close call.’
There’s little doubt it’s been a breakthrough season for Haunstrup, who has made 17 appearances this term after finding himself stuck behind Enda Stevens for the past couple of campaigns.
Jackett stated he has faith in the Waterlooville talent’s ability at senior level.
He said: ‘I went for Dion but for Brandon anyway the compliment I can pay him is that when the space was there against Wigan I didn’t hesitate to put him in.
‘I told him that and he should gain confidence from that.
‘He should be looking to finish the season well, but it’s an improved season for him and a good season for him.
‘At 21 he has good hunger and a good future for Portsmouth.’
– JORDAN CROSS