Portsmouth boss: Dennis going nowhere in January

Louis Dennis gives chase during a man-of-the-match performance against Southend on Tuesday night. Picture: Joe Pepler
Louis Dennis gives chase during a man-of-the-match performance against Southend on Tuesday night. Picture: Joe Pepler
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Kenny Jackett has pledged Louis Dennis will not be allowed to leave Pompey this month.

The attacking midfielder was handed only his fourth Blues appearance during Tuesday evening’s 2-0 success at Southend.

Dennis opened the scoring in the Checkatrade Trophy victory, his first goal following a summer switch from non-league Bromley.

It has been an immensely frustrating time for the Football League newcomer, whose outings have solely arrived in the much-maligned competition.

Instead the brilliant form of Jamal Lowe, Ronan Curtis and Gareth Evans, coupled with the options of Andre Green and David Wheeler, have condemned him to watch from the sidelines.

Nonetheless, Jackett insists he has no intention of letting Dennis depart on loan during the January transfer window.

He said: ‘It would very much depend what Louis wanted, but he hasn’t asked to go on loan.

‘As a manager, I wouldn't necessarily want to do that (send out on loan) and leave myself short of players.

‘I have been impressed with Louis and put him in the category of he hasn't had a chance yet. But he signed a two-year contract here and, I’m sure, during the course of that time he will get a chance.

‘He’s not had a chance yet due to the form of other players. We will sum it up along the way, but he is not someone I am going to show the door to this January.

‘He’s a good player, Louis, a good find, he has been unlucky not to be in – and is not someone I will be pulling in and saying “You are not for me”.

‘When I speak to Louis it’s “You’re unlucky, it’s frustrating for you” and he is frustrated.

‘But he just hasn’t had a chance or opportunity in the league. For me, I am okay where he is.’

Such has been table-topping Pompey’s squad strength, Dennis has made just four League One squads this season.

On each occasion he has failed to be utilised off the bench.

Instead it has been the Checkatrade Trophy offering an opportunity to shine, earning Dennis the man-of-the-match accolade for his Roots Hall display.

Aside from breaking the deadlock on 93 seconds, it was his run and pass which teed up skipper Gareth Evans for the second on the stroke of half time.

And with the Blues’ current squad size, Jackett cannot afford for the 26-year-old to depart.

He added: ‘Louis is a really good individual, sees the big picture, wants to play and is frustrated.

‘We watch him train every day – and he trains very well.

‘We have five injuries now and took 18 players to Norwich, with only Danny (Rose) left behind, with the younger boys after that.

‘At the moment we have a first-team squad of 23. With two loans going back, that takes us to what I consider 23 senior pros now.’