Danny Cowley addresses what Portsmouth future holds for ex-Ipswich target Michael Jacobs after surprise omission

Danny Cowley insists there’s a Pompey role for Michael Jacobs.

By Neil Allen
Tuesday, 14th September 2021, 4:55 am
Michael Jacobs was omitted from Pompey's squad for Saturday's 1-0 defeat at MK Dons. Picture: Jason Brown/ProSportsImages
Michael Jacobs was omitted from Pompey's squad for Saturday's 1-0 defeat at MK Dons. Picture: Jason Brown/ProSportsImages

The attacking midfielder was left out of the Blues squad at MK Dons on Saturday for a match which marked 357 minutes without a League One goal.

Jacobs has not started a league match since sustaining medial knee ligament damage at the start of April, although did line-up at AFC Wimbledon in last week’s Papa John’s Trophy fixture.

Cowley believes the former Wigan man is edging towards full fitness following such injury troubles.

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And he is well aware of the creative capabilities Jacobs can bring to a side netting just four times in six league matches this term.

Cowley told The News: ‘Michael’s getting there, I think he benefited from the Wimbledon game.

‘It wasn’t quite ideal for him playing inside the pitch and a more defensive position. We would normally like to use him as a technical player with tactical experience, but he was able to cope.

‘I think he does his best work in that left-half space, he likes to come in off the left and come into the inside space with an overlapping full-back.

‘We all know Michael has the creative ability to find the final pass or quality of the cross.

‘His shooting from distance is good and he almost scored the other night with a left-footed volley which the keeper saved.

‘The idea of the number 10 is to penetrate, you’d like that player to make lots of forward runs, so I think Michael can play in that position.

‘He can play left, the left eight and I also think he can play a 10.’

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Jacobs had featured in six successive squads before Saturday’s surprise omission at the Stadium MK.

Cowley opted for Ronan Curtis and new signing Miguel Azeez as the attacking midfield options on the bench, with Ellis Harrison as the striker.

That meant the 29-year-old missed out on the 18-man squad along with George Hirst, Gassan Ahadme and Paul Downing.

The quartet had started the midweek 4-3 defeat at Wimbledon, in which Harrison netted an impressive hat-trick.

Upon the return to League One action, of those that lined-up at Plough Lane, just Reeco Hackett-Fairchild kept his place.

Pompey’s head coach added: ‘Michael is a really good character, very, very popular in the dressing room.

‘He has some great experience and understands football, he understands the game, and also understands the industry.

‘He’s working hard to force his way into the starting XI.’

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