Danny Cowley's newly-appointed penalty taker is relishing the Portsmouth responsibility

Pompey have appointed a new penalty taker – and he’s relishing the opportunity.

Wednesday, 5th May 2021, 12:00 pm
Updated Wednesday, 5th May 2021, 12:02 pm
Danny Cowley has chosen a new Pompey penalty taker to succeed John Marquis. Picture: Jason Brown/ProSportsImages

Ronan Curtis has netted three times and provided three assists in his last four matches as he drives the Blues towards play-off football.

In addition, Danny Cowley has also entrusted the Irishman with spot-kick duties.

Having missed his last two penalties, most recently at Crewe last month, John Marquis has been relieved of the role.

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Instead Curtis will step up, having patiently waited three seasons for the responsibility.

The 25-year-old has queued behind Brett Pitman, Gareth Evans, Marquis and Ellis Harrison since his May 2018 arrival.

Now he stands at the front.

Curtis told The News: ‘Me, the gaffer, Nicky and Joe (Gallen) have spoken about it and they have told me I am now on penalties.

‘The gaffer just pulled me and said “What do you feel about penalties?” and I said “Yes”. It’s no big drama.

‘‘It doesn’t matter to me who hits them, it can be whoever fancies it on the day takes it, but I am very confident and will take whatever is asked of me, whether free-kicks or pens.

‘With Kenny, he had his out-and-out penalty takers like Pitman and Gareth Evans, and now it’s John and Ellis.

‘John has missed his last two, bless him, but it's a team game and the next person is me.

‘Whenever that comes it comes. I’ve got the confidence to take it.’

Curtis has scored 40 goals in 141 appearances for Pompey – yet none have arrived from the penalty spot.

He has, however, been involved in two shoot-outs in cup competitions.

In March’s Papa John’s Trophy final, a reshuffle was required for spot kicks, with Marquis off injured and Harrison missing through a knee problem.

Stepping up second, Curtis’ attempt was well saved by keeper Vaclav Hladky diving to his left.

Pompey would lose 4-2 on penalties, with Ryan Williams shooting over and defenders Lee Brown and Sean Raggett both netting.

Curtis also took a penalty in the 3-1 shoot-out success at Stevenage in the Carabao Cup in August.

However he wasn’t on the pitch for the Checkatrade Trophy final triumph in March 2019, and not among the five Pompey takers against Oxford in last season’s play-off semi-final defeat.

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