HE’S A PLAYER destined for a higher level.
And that assessment comes from a man who’s operated at the top of the English game.
Jamal Lowe can make the step up to the higher echelons of the league ladder if he continues to progress at his current rate.
Robbie Blake is someone who knows what he’s talking about on the subject – after working with the attacking talent at close quarters during his time at Fratton Park.
Lowe paid tribute to the work the coach did in developing his game before his Pompey exit last week.
Blake believes there’s progress needed in the 23-year-old’s game, particularly when showing composure in the final third.
But the man who caused problems for Premier League defences for the likes of Bolton, Burnley, Birmingham and Bradford sees a player who could potentially do the same.
Blake said: ‘Jamal’s gone from doing really well towards the end of the season and before that to really establishing himself as one of the first names on the team-sheet.
‘That’s due to his work-ethic and attitude.
‘Jamal’s certainly got the attributes to be playing at a higher level in my opinion.
‘He still needs to learn the game and certain aspects of the game.
‘In terms of the final third, his composure is an area he can improve. It’s something we’ve worked on.
‘If you are rushed in certain aspects of it, more often than not, you will make the wrong pass, cross or take the wrong shot.
‘We’ve looked at one-on-ones in a game situation with our analyst.
‘I do believe he’s still getting better.
‘He’s still inexperienced in terms of league football.
‘That will come with time.
‘But he has all the attributes to play at a higher level because he’s strong and he’s quick.’
Blake has no doubts the next 12 months will be an important period for Lowe if he is to move forward.
He feels the former Hampton & Richmond man has to grasp the nettle and really show the commitment to kick on.
To do that Blake, who’s joined Bognor Regis as first-team coach, feels Lowe has to add some swagger to his game.
And now is the time to start doing that.
Blake added: ‘He’s got good technique and he scores goals given the opportunity.
‘I think Jamal can be one of many lads who really steps up this year and does well again.
‘Having played there, the higher you go it’s all about the final-third decisions and decision making.
‘It’s a matter of Jamal getting more composure in his game – and more confidence and arrogance.
‘He can still take more responsibility and say he’s a player who can unlock doors.
‘Once you get that right kind of arrogance and confidence the composure will come.
‘He’s done incredibly well over a short space of time.
‘It’s going to be important that if he wants to kick one he says now is the time to do it.’