Pompey boss: No move yet to fill midfield void

Kenny Jackett. Picture: Joe Pepler
Kenny Jackett. Picture: Joe Pepler
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Kenny Jackett has conceded Pompey’s centre-midfield shortage has affected recent performances.

But he insists there are presently no recruits heading to Fratton Park to resolve it.

At the moment, nobody is coming in. We will see, if the right situation comes up then obviously we will look at it

Kenny Jackett

Injuries have robbed Danny Rose for the season, while Stuart O’Keefe is set to remain on the sidelines until April.

Instead, Nathan Thompson and Adam May have been pressed into action as replacements, while Dion Donohue served in the role at Rotherham.

In the meantime, Pompey have slipped to ninth in League One and gone four games without victory.

And while the transfer window is open for the remainder of the month, Jackett is adamant no new face is forthcoming.

He said: ‘It is something we have talked about (central midfield).

‘I do feel we haven’t been as strong in games and at times people have got on top of us in that particular area – and I do think that has been reflective of the games.

‘If I go back to one of our good victories, such as Charlton away, our midfield four on that particular day was Evans, Rose, O’Keefe and Lowe. There was a lot of experience, with Ben Close injured at that time.

‘Missing three out of those four has affected us slightly. Making sure you win midfield and get a foothold is very important in terms of winning games consistently.

‘In the centre we have lost two experienced players (Rose and O’Keefe) and it would be nice if one was fit, but injuries aren’t exclusive to us, it happens with every club.

‘Then, as a club and a manager, you have to adapt.

‘At the moment, nobody is coming in. We will see, if the right situation comes up then obviously we will look at it.

‘Is there someone coming in right now? I don’t think so.’

Evans yesterday returned to training following his hamstring injury.

But May, Donohue and Thompson are presently the only considerations to join Close in the centre of midfield.

Jackett added: ‘At times you maybe look to tweak formation and getting Evans back will give us some experience as well.

‘Thompson can play midfield but we need him at right-back also. There isn’t necessarily another recognised right-back. Evans has some experience playing there, but wouldn’t be my preferred position.

‘I like Dion Donohue, since his injury he has come back in very well. The two positions he is comfortable in are centre midfield and left-back in a four.

‘On Saturday he went into central midfield with Ben Close and did okay. He has a very, very good left foot and is generally a good all-round player.

‘If Adam May was coming in maybe it should be with Rose or O’Keefe and Evans around him for combinations – our midfield can look very young, very quickly.

‘It is a key area, but injuries are not exclusive to us.’