Portsmouth boss: We must cope without infectious Ronan Curtis

Kenny Jackett has challenged Pompey to perform without their Irish talisman.

Thursday, 6th September 2018, 5:14 pm
Updated Thursday, 6th September 2018, 5:22 pm
Ronan Curtis is away on Republic of Ireland under-21 duty. Picture: PA Images

Top-scorer Ronan Curtis' Republic of Ireland under-21 commitments ensure he is absent from Saturday's match with Shrewsbury.

Noel King's youngsters take on Kosovo in a European Championships qualifier tomorrow, with Tuesday's clash against Germany completing the double header.

Curtis has made an outstanding start to his Fratton Park career since a summer move from Derry City, with five goals and three assists.

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Ronan Curtis is away on Republic of Ireland under-21 duty. Picture: PA Images

On Tuesday night, the Blues destroyed Gillingham 4-0 in the Checkatrade Trophy without the 22-year-old.

Andre Green is likely to again deputise for the visit of struggling Shrewsbury '“ and Jackett knows the Blues must maintain that winning feeling in Curtis' absence.

He said: '˜It's a big test.

'˜Can we cope without Ronan being here? Can we make sure that the team looks seamless and just as strong?

'˜It is our aim to be able to do that.

'˜We wish him all the best in the two internationals he has coming up, it's a fantastic honour to play for your country, and obviously selfishly we wish after those games he is back and fit and available for next Saturday.

'˜He has started well for us, but so have a number of other players.

'˜Ronan is an infectious character and a very good character.

'˜We have some strength in the wide area, it's an explosive position and you are going to need it.'