Young Pompey hot-shot tipped for bright future

Pompey prospect Dan Smith. Picture: Joe Pepler
Pompey prospect Dan Smith. Picture: Joe Pepler
Nathan Thompson has served his four-match suspension Picture: Joe Pepler

Pompey boss weighs up role for returning duo

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Dan Smith has been tipped to have a bright future in the game.

But Pompey boss Kenny Jackett is guarding against throwing the teenager into the first-team equation at present.

The academy striker has made it into the senior set-up this season – a reward for his promising progress under Mark Kelly.

With injuries biting, Smith was named on the bench in the 2-1 win at Fleetwood last week.

That followed on from involvement in Jackett’s squad at Bristol Rovers on New Year’s Day.

The defeat to Blackpool last weekend represented the 18-year-old’s latest taste of the senior fray.

Jackett opted not to give Smith his bow as Pompey disappointed in front of their own fans.

The Blues boss feels there will be a right time to give the talent his chance.

But with the atmosphere a bleak one at Fratton Park it wasn’t the occasion to throw on a youngster.

Jackett said: ‘You’re looking at forwards on the bench (against Blackpool)

‘Young Dan Smith has done very well in youth team this year.

‘I think he has a good future but I didn’t think it was really the time to put him on in the last 20 minutes last Saturday.’

Jackett is of the mind players with first-team potential should be dipped in and out of the fray when they are ready to be given minutes.

After 14 academy goals in 15 starts and four appearances off the bench, Smith has done enough to suggest he has the potential to fill such a role.

Jackett feels there are the needs of the player to consider but ultimately it’s all about the team.

He said: ‘There’s time for younger players. There’s a time for them to come out.

‘That’s the case for them to progress and get the best out of them.

‘That’s why you have a squad of players but you need to make sure you can move them around to good effect for the team.’