Portsmouth boss highlights key boost to options

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DION DONOHUE’s return can help rebalance Pompey’s starting XI.

Kenny Jackett saluted Donohue’s impact in giving his team the balance he felt the Blues have been lacking since his injury comeback.

Pompey's Dion Donohue. Picture: Joe Pepler

Pompey's Dion Donohue. Picture: Joe Pepler

Jackett turned to the Welshman at AFC Wimbledon after being shorn of winger options at Kingsmeadow.

With Ronan Curtis on international duty and David Wheeler joining Andre Green in the treatment room, Pompey were without three of their four wide men for the game.

That led to Jackett opting to use Donohue in an advanced position down the left, with Jamal Lowe behind Oli Hawkins up front and Gareth Evans on the right.

The 25-year-old responded with an assist to follow up a goal on his return from a string of injury issues against Crawley, in the Checkatrade Trophy last week.

Curtis has been a revelation this season for Pompey, but is a naturally right-footed player operating down the left for his side.

Jackett knows Donohue’s cultured left foot can help even up his options.

He said: ‘Three of our four natural wingers weren’t available at Wimbledon.

‘It happens and that really shaped my thinking going into the game.

‘We couldn’t go like for like but Dion gave us something different.

‘I feel we've looked slightly unbalanced and Dion does help with that.

‘He’s a different type of player but gave us that balance I felt we needed.

‘It's been a frustrating time for him.

‘He had a good debut season last year and he’ll be looking to build on that now.

‘There’s still the vast majority of the season to go.

‘We all know he has a lot of quality in that left foot of his.

‘He can certainly give you a lot of balance.’

Donohue’s Wimbledon assist came courtesy of his 24th-minute corner which was headed home by Tom Naylor.

Jackett feels his place in the side also helped to up Pompey’s threat in an area where they’ve struggled.

He added: ‘The corner for the first goal came from Dion.

‘It’s something we’ve talked about a lot.

‘We had our first loss, but we had 14 corners and 10 in the second half going into our own end. For all that we didn’t have an effort from it, whether that’s the service or people getting on the end of it.

‘But in a similar situation at Wimbledon we made one of them count. We do get a high amount and we’re looking for those to pay.’