Portsmouth boss gives Curtis fitness assessment after Ireland call-up

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Ronan Curtis has been backed to make a refreshed Pompey return at full pelt.

Kenny Jackett believes the winger will be rejuvenated by his spell away with the Republic of Ireland, after returning to training with the Blues.

Ronan Curtis will be back in Pompey colours this weekend. Picture: PA

Ronan Curtis will be back in Pompey colours this weekend. Picture: PA

Curtis saw action with Ireland’s under-21 squad against Israel and was also called up to train with Martin O’NeilI’s senior squad.

The 22-year-old wasn’t part of the Eire side who fell to a 1-0 loss to Wales on Tuesday night, however.

And Jackett feels that sees him arrive back to his club side in good shape, ahead of the meeting with Fleetwood.

He said: ‘Ronan’s a good trainer with a good energy level, so it was good to get him back and back out with the other players.

‘He obviously gives us a good option going forward with the three games coming up.

‘We’re delighted he’s got into the international squad, but obviously when he comes back fit and raring to go it’s sometimes frustrating when a player makes a good start and they are missing for whatever reason.

‘I’ve kept in close contact with him over the last 10 days.

‘He’s been with the full squad but he’s had a breather as well.

‘He didn’t get on the bench so maybe it’s a good breather for him as well. It won’t have done him any harm.

‘I think we’ll benefit from that over the next few games.

‘It’s been a good experience for him but he hasn’t been flat out in terms of games.’

Jackett is confident Curtis will be able to operate at a good level over the coming weeks, but the Pompey boss is also aware it’s been a frenetic period for the winger since joining from Derry City in the summer.

So keeping a close eye on the levels the winger is operating at will be an ongoing process, after setting a ferocious pace in his Pompey career to date.

Jackett added: ‘The real explosive runners are the ones in the wide areas. Their high-intensity runs are really high.

‘You have to think about that and look at the GPS stats.

‘It’s Ronan’s first year, but, whether it’s his first year or not you do, at the right time, need some cover and to have a breather.

‘Look at the running Gareth Evans does. It’d be very hard to reproduce that five times in 15 days. But that’s why you have a squad.

‘For Ronan, he had two-and-a-half weeks off in the summer, so we’ll see if it can flow through.

‘I really do hope he can maintain his standards of energy and output of his running.

‘He’s played the majority of minutes.

‘It’d be great it that continued right the way through.

‘You have to watch the player and see if that will be the case.

‘I’d love that to continue right the way through the season if it could, but the proof will be in the pudding.’