'I don't suit this Portsmouth system': Michael Jacobs' honest confession after earning last-gasp win at Gillingham

Michael Jacobs admits he isn’t suited to Danny Cowley’s current playing system.

Monday, 29th November 2021, 4:55 am

Now Pompey’s Priestfield Stadium matchwinner is eyeing reinventing himself as a number 10 to force his way back in.

The 30-year-old has found himself out of the team since the Blues’ head coach reintroduced his back three formation.

Effectively the wing-backs provide the width rather than wingers, ensuring the likes of Jacobs cannot be accommodated.

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The former Wigan man was introduced for Reeco Hackett in the 81st minute against Gillingham, instructed to occupy the number 10 position.

And he popped up in the second minute of time added on to secure Pompey’s sixth straight win, albeit taking a significant deflection off the Gills’ Jack Tucker.

Jacobs told The News: ‘As a wide man, it’s a difficult formation for me to get in.

‘You are a bit limited unless you become a wing-back or an attacker or a number nine or whatever – and we have good options in those areas.

As a winger, Michael Jacobs admits there is no room for him in Danny Cowley's back three system. Picture: Jason Brown/ProSportsImages

‘I probably could play wing-back, I’m not too sure how well, but I will do a job there for a team.

‘As a winger, it doesn’t suit the system. However, I came on against Gillingham as a number 10 and that’s definitely a role I can do.

‘Obviously Marcus (Harness) has been in fantastic form and is probably the in-form player in the division and is doing really well.

‘But the number 10 role would be most suited to me in this system and, whenever I come on, I just try to make an impact.

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‘It’s a role I've done before and can do, you’ve just got to make things happen.

‘We had a front two of Ellis (Harrison) and Ronan (Curtis) at the end, so you have a bit of a platform to get the ball into them, try to play off them and try to get into those areas.’

Since losing 4-0 to Ipswich, the Blues are unbeaten in nine matches and have won six on the spin.

And two of those have been successive away wins – achieved lining-up with a back three.

Jacobs added: ‘We are doing great with this system and are strong at the back.

‘Kieron Freeman has been fantastic coming into the team in the last two games and shown his quality, while obviously Connor (Ogilvie) has done a fantastic job.

‘Big John Akinde is a handful and they dealt with him very well on Saturday.’

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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