Portsmouth boss sees potential switch for Republic of Ireland ace Curtis

Ronan Curtis has been backed to add a cutting edge to Pompey's front line.

Friday, 4th January 2019, 3:14 pm
Updated Thursday, 10th January 2019, 2:26 pm
Pompey's Ronan Curtis. Picture: Joe Pepler

Kenny Jackett  believes the emerging Republic of Ireland star has the right qualities to be an out-and-out attacking threat for the Blues over the second half of the season.

Curtis has been employed as a winger for much of the campaign since his summer arrival from Derry City.

The 22-year-old has made an explosive impact after largely being utilised down the left flank for Jackett's side.

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Pompey's Ronan Curtis. Picture: Joe Pepler

But Curtis' boss feels he can offer something to his side when operating through the middle.

Jackett acknowledged the wing is where the £150,000 arrival shines best.

He can see, though, how his attributes can help his side when leading the line.

Jackett said: '˜I've felt for a while Ronan has the capabilities to go through the middle.

'˜When you get the ball back to goal you almost have to play there for a couple of seasons to really know what you're doing.

'˜All the work in training doesn't replicate a Saturday and those games up front.

'˜I do think he looks more comfortable on the left than through the middle, but I do like his pace and at times we need that.

'˜That's whether it's him, Lowe, Wheeler or Green.'

Jackett opted to use Curtis as a striker along with Oli Hawkins in the 1-1 draw at Barnsley last month.

In tough conditions, that gave Pompey an additional attacking presence when opting to get the ball forward quickly.

Jackett noted how Curtis found himself in some dangerous positions on that occasion, although his side failed to make the most of that threat.

He added: '˜Against Barnsley it helped us to have two up front all game.

'˜It gave us an out ball and a presence going forward.

'˜Many times we got out and Curtis got behind the right-back and into good positions.

'˜We were springing forward and there was optimism, even if there wasn't quite the quality on the ball to get the goals the spaces deserved.'