Pompey put faith in new boy

Connor Ronan in action against Scunthorpe. Picture: Barry Zee
Connor Ronan in action against Scunthorpe. Picture: Barry Zee
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Joe Gallen revealed the faith Pompey are showing in Connor Ronan.

The Blues are confident the Wolves loanee has what it takes to make an impact in his new sides’s bid to reach the League One play-offs.

Ronan impressed in an attacking-midfield role in Saturday’s 1-1 draw with promotion-chasing Scunthorpe.

Some questioned whether the 19-year-old could handle the hustle and bustle of League One football with his slight figure.

Ronan delivered an emphatic response, however, with his showing against the Iron.

Gallen said: ‘He’s got a very good football brain and he’s a natural footballer. He’s very good technically with an excellent right foot which has a bit of a hammer in it.

‘He has vision, can play a pass and put in a set-piece or cross. He can shoot and fancies himself as a goalscorer.

‘Connor’s a natural footballer. He had a steady game against Chelsea but was better against Scunthorpe.

‘With Nathan Thompson and Ben Close around him it brought out his football.

‘I’m pleased he got (sponsor’s) man of the match and Brett Pitman didn’t for a change!’

Ronan started in a central role before being moved wide as Pompey picked up a point against the promotion chasers. Gallen explained where Pompey would prefer to use him.

He added: ‘We have this debate with Connor whether he’s a central position or a wide-position player.

‘Since we’ve been here we’ve played a 4-4-1-1 really.

‘At Wolves sometimes Connor would play as a number 10 and sometimes he’s played in a wide area.

‘There’s always a bit of a dilemma where is best to get him on the ball.

‘At Wolves we wondered whether he’d be a 10, a central midfielder or wide player.

‘Is it going to be a 4-3-3, is it going to be a 4-4-1-1?

‘There’s a difference between playing in a central or wide area. You need power to go past people out wide if you’re an offensive player.

‘But you don’t need so much in the middle if your football can do the talking.

‘You can pass it around people and let the ball run.

‘You can be quick over two or three yards but, like Jamal Lowe in wide areas, you need more power.

‘You need a bit more pace and power to stretch full-backs, take them on and cross it.

‘But Connor did play for a bit on the left where he comes off the line and into the pocket.

‘He can then have a shot, play a one-two and see the whole game.’