Portsmouth boss: Fit-again midfielder must deliver reminder

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Dion Donohue has been challenged to deliver a reminder of his Pompey talents.

The left-sided player is in the frame for a maiden appearance of the season as the Blues face Crawley in the Checkatrade Trophy tonight.

Dion Donohue, middle, is poised for his maiden start of the campaign after time on the sidelines. Picture: Joe Pepler

Dion Donohue, middle, is poised for his maiden start of the campaign after time on the sidelines. Picture: Joe Pepler

The Welshman has endured wretched luck since the summer, sidelined by foot blisters, glandular fever, a groin injury and a hamstring problem at various stages.

Now he’s bidding to make his latest comeback attempt with a run out at the Broadfield Stadium (7.45pm).

Donohue made 35 appearances last season, operating at left-back and in the centre of midfield, with only Jamal Lowe weighing in with more assists.

Certainly, Jackett hasn’t forgotten about the former Chesterfield man’s ability – and believes there’s plenty of time to force his way back into Pompey’s team.

The Blues boss said: ‘We don’t get many injuries and there have been good results, but that doesn’t always stay like that, all Dion has to concentrate on is being ready for when he gets his chance.

‘It has been a frustrating time for him, but we all know he has a lot of quality, he showed that last year.

‘During the course of the season I am sure we’ll need him, then he has the ability to push in and stay in.

‘I don’t know whether muscle injuries come off the illness,  either way the important thing is he gets back now. There's still more than enough of the season left for him to contribute and get in – and hopefully he can put his injury troubles behind him.

‘It is still relatively early in the season, almost 25 per cent of it has gone, with a big chunk of the year left. He just has to focus on that and hopefully his body can stand up to the rigours now.

‘Dion doesn't say a lot as a lad, he trains well, is good footballer, has the respect of the group with his ability and, as with every player, just frustrated when he’s not playing football.’

The return of Donohue also boosts Jackett’s natural left-footed options, joining Matt Clarke, Brandon Haunstrup, Danny Rose and Lee Brown.

Jackett added: ‘He’s a versatile player and, as with any left footers, they are in a minority and you always need balance.

‘We all know he has more than enough ability, he’s a good player and showed that very well at times last year.

‘He must put pressure on the two or three players who play in and around where he can fit.’