Portsmouth boss backs ‘jaded’ Jamal Lowe for Bradford City recall

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Kenny Jackett is ready to restore a reinvigorated Jamal Lowe to his starting line-up.

The winger made a telling contribution following his half-time introduction from the bench at Bury on Tuesday night.

Lowe was involved in a much-improved second-half display from the Blues, with the visitors claiming three goals in a 16-minute spell to clinch a place in the Checkatrade Trophy final.

Jackett admitted his leading scorer had been relegated to a substitute role in the last two matches over concerns being ‘jaded’.

Yet the effectiveness of Lowe’s subsequent re-emergence suggests a swift recall is imminent.

And Pompey’s boss is poised to hand him a start against Bradford on Saturday.

Jamal Lowe impressed following his introduction at half-time in the 3-0 Checkatrade Trophy success at Bury. Picture: Daniel Chesterton/phcimages.com

Jamal Lowe impressed following his introduction at half-time in the 3-0 Checkatrade Trophy success at Bury. Picture: Daniel Chesterton/phcimages.com

Jackett said: ‘I certainly hope Jamal is ready to start games again, he’s a big player for us and we don’t need him outside for very long.

‘Similarly, I do think he has looked tired.

‘I just felt he looked a little bit jaded, maybe even mentally, he just needed a break, to come off the bench a couple of times.

‘Jamal is a big player for us and can’t be out too long, he has needed a break at times, which every player does, but I don’t want it to be too long.

‘I want Jamal Lowe on the ball and in top form – and I do think he helped us on Tuesday, he made a difference, especially with his pace on the break.

‘If you look at our numbers now, it will probably be a 60-game season for us, that’s how it is looking.

‘So to play every minute of those, particularly in the dynamic positions, is difficult.’

Viv Solomon-Otabor has started Pompey's last two matches during Lowe’s presence on the bench.

Yet at half-time against Bury, Jackett opted to replace the Birmingham loanee with Lowe.

The former Dagenham & Redbridge player had started all 33 League One matches this season before dropped against Barnsley last weekend.

Regardless, he has still made 77 consecutive league appearances since August 2017.

His Gigg Lane entrance helped rejuvenate the Blues, whose subsequent 3-0 success was achieved through goals from Gareth Evans, Oli Hawkins and Ronan Curtis.

Now Jackett is weighing up his flank options once more as Pompey target ending eight League One matches without victory at the expense of struggling Bradford.

He added: ‘Against Bury, I felt Viv just couldn’t quite get into the game and to maybe to switch the wingers back, that’s why Jamal came on.

‘While Jamal has been out, we’ve brought in the likes of Solomon-Otabor, with Lloyd Isgrove available again on Saturday.

‘Hopefully those guys can help us.’