Portsmouth boss: Pitman can fill big shoes of Hawkins

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Brett Pitman does not represent a Pompey like-for-like replacement.

Nonetheless, Kenny Jackett is convinced the free-scoring forward can slot effectively into the Oli Hawkins role which has proven so pivotal to the Blues’ promotion drive.

Brett Pitman celebrates Pompey's FA Cup victory at Norwich. Picture: Joe Pepler

Brett Pitman celebrates Pompey's FA Cup victory at Norwich. Picture: Joe Pepler

Hawkins is likely to be sidelined for a further two weeks by the calf injury which has hampered his involvement in recent weeks.

That absence prompted Pitman’s recall for last weekend’s FA Cup trip to Norwich, with the former Ipswich man subsequently involved in Andre Green’s dramatic winner.

And the six-goal striker will once more lead Pompey’s line in Saturday’s visit of Blackpool.

Jackett said: ‘I still see the system being the same, but it is slightly different with Brett in.

‘They are different players, but there aren't many players around like Oli either. Everybody is looking for that guy in their squad – and he’s unique.

‘It was always going to change slightly, but Brett has enough experience, he has a good enough game with back to goal to help us. Hopefully we can then give him the fire-power to score goals, which is a big part of his game as well.

‘We are a side which can get wide, we put balls into the box – and that does suit him.

‘Oli and him have different strengths, it’s hard to get like-for-like completely in the dynamic of any team. Look at Ben Thompson, the dynamics of a team change with different team selection.

‘There’s a break for Oli now, hopefully a short one, but the good thing is we should have a fresh Brett Pitman coming in.

‘Looking at his recent form and the game against Norwich will give him a lot of heart.’

It was Pitman’s composure on the ball and pass to Dion Donohue which launched the decisive stoppage-time attack at Carrow Road.

And Jackett was delighted with his striker’s showing.

He added: ‘Brett is very capable and a very experienced centre-forward – his performance at Norwich was very good.

‘His hold-up play for the goal was actually very good, if he had given that one away it would have been tough. It was the right ball at the right time to Donohue.

‘All in all, I thought it was a good performance. Brett was unlucky not to score, but it was a good, all-round performance.’