KENNY JACKETT spoke of his frustration at the injury niggles which stalled Matty Kennedy’s campaign.
The Pompey boss believes an ankle problem impacted on the winger’s confidence and stopped his loan stint at Fratton Park realising its full potential.
Kennedy will be out for game time over the final two fixtures of the season, after going nine matches without a start.
The 23-year-old has made 30 Pompey appearances since arriving from Cardiff on loan in August.
But there’s been just six full league outings for the Scottish talent in 2018.
Jackett puts that down to the ankle issue which has made it a stop-start period for Kennedy.
The Blues manager feels that’s made it’s mark on the player’s morale, but had nothing but praise for the character shown by Kennedy in his time at the club.
Jackett said: ‘Matty’s had an ankle problem for quite some time now. It’s pretty painful.
‘It’s one of those where he can twist it and it’s painful for a while, then it goes away.
‘He has got a problem in there and it will get better when the summer comes.
‘It’s certainly hampered his recent game time, training and confidence level.
‘He’s just at the stage now where he accepts it’s not going to go away until he gets a rest on it.
‘That will happen pretty soon. For him, anyway, he has to keep going, get what game time he can this Saturday and next weekend.
‘He started well, but just after Christmas, for one reason or another and the ankle is part of it, he’s not quite been able to impose himself.
‘He hasn’t quite been able to impose himself and there was probably a spell after Christmas where he lost of bit of confidence as well.
‘For Matty, though, he’s got a very good character and he’s not let anyone down this year whatsoever.’
Kennedy is one of the loan players Pompey have an option to buy, but it remains to be seen if that’s an avenue Jackett is willing to pursue.
The Blues boss feels the issue will have placed a shadow over Kennedy’s performances of late.
Jackett added: ‘It’s a difficult one sometimes.
‘It’s in your mind. Does it take away your confidence? Does it take away half a yard?
‘You never know until it’s your ankle whether you can overcome it.
‘It may be just a little too painful to go through it.
‘Another part of it may be what do you think you’ll do if it goes completely and what will it do to you?
‘If that’s in your mind it’s difficult. They’re hard things to assess unless you are that person.
‘It’s very easy to say you could push through that injury.
‘But there can be different levels of the same injury.
‘He has had a niggling ankle injury and it has hampered him, I think.’