Jackett throws down challenge to Pompey new boys

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Kenny Jackett has challenged his raw recruits to make an impact next season.

And the Pompey boss has outlined his plans for attacking new boys Ronan Curtis and Louis Dennis.

Louis Dennis. Picture: Neil Weld/Portsmouth FC

Louis Dennis. Picture: Neil Weld/Portsmouth FC

Jackett believes both players are capable of making an impression as they step into league football after agreeing deals at Fratton Park.

And the task for them is to show they can do just that as the Blues bid to make it to the Championship next term.

Dennis arrives from National League Bromley and Curtis joins from League of Ireland outfit Derry City, with the duo Pompey’s first confirmed business of the summer.

Some fans questioned the wisdom of bringing in two untried players at League One level but Jackett last week defended his policy of bringing in young, hungry players.

Ronan Curtis. Picture: Portsmouth FC

Ronan Curtis. Picture: Portsmouth FC

He feels both men have to prove they can bring goals to the table in the third tier of the English game.

Jackett said: ‘They are front-line players, forward players.

‘Both are forwards and creative players and I’m pleased to bring them both in.

‘They are good physically and I think, in terms of touch, passing and ability, they have a lot and can bring creativity and goals to the table.

‘They are both happy to make the step up and come into a club like Portsmouth.

‘They are going to be looking to make an impression early on to get into the first team. That’s the challenge for them.

‘Curtis has got an ability to get in behind people.

‘And both of them have got pace, power and physical strength, too.’

The versatility of Dennis and Curtis in attacking areas has raised the question of where they will be utilised for Pompey.

Curtis featured down the left flank at Derry this season until his move but has stated he prefers to play as an out-and-out striker.

Jackett has indicated he will use the 22-year-old in the left-sided position vacated by Kal Naismith.

Dennis played in a withdrawn attacking role with Bromley last season.

Jackett likes the idea of him continuing there but that would mean a switch from the 4-1-4-1 formation utilised at the end of last season.

He added: ‘Dennis has been playing just behind the striker for Bromley and Curtis has been playing wide left of a front three for Derry.

‘You can use Curtis up front but, first off, it’s playing him in the position he’s been playing in and knows. That’s the left-hand side.

‘We have had Kal playing in that position last season, so he comes into that position.

‘We’ll see along the line if there’s a change in him.

‘Initially, though, I’m looking for him to come in on that left-hand side

‘Dennis can play any of the front three positions.

‘If you go that way on a particular day we would play him where he’s played most – which has been the number 10 position.’