Portsmouth boss gives Curtis fitness assessment after Ireland call-up

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

Thursday, 18th October 2018, 5:32 pm
Updated Thursday, 18th October 2018, 6:40 pm
Ronan Curtis will be back in Pompey colours this weekend. Picture: PA

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

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.

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

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.'