Joe Gallen: Brandon Haunstrup in reckoning to be new Portsmouth right-back

Pompey have an unlikely fresh candidate to resolve their right-back issues – a left-back.

Thursday, 7th November 2019, 8:00 am
Brandon Haunstrup impressed when he came on for Pompey against Southend. Picture: Robin Jones
Brandon Haunstrup impressed when he came on for Pompey against Southend. Picture: Robin Jones

Certainly Joe Gallen regards Brandon Haunstrup as a realistic option following his impressive cameo against Southend.

Ross McCrorie was forced off on 40 minutes with a hamstring tear, while right-back alternatives James Bolton and Anton Walkes had been omitted from the squad.

Instead Haunstrup emerged from the bench to perform as an unfamiliar stand-in, proceeding to weigh in with two assists.

Sign up to our Portsmouth FC newsletter

Brandon Haunstrup grabbed two assists in the 4-1 victory over Southend - from right-back. Picture: Robin Jones/Getty Images

Suddenly the left-back is challenging for a right-sided role at Harrogate Town on November 11.

Assistant boss Gallen said: ‘From previous teams, there are numerous players which have gone to the other side of the pitch – and offensively it gives you a different point of attack.

‘Whereas the right-sided player will try to go around, let’s say, Ryan Williams, Brandon will take it inside and start driving at the goal.

‘Our first goal came from that and it surprises the opposition. He is a very offensive player and very good with the ball, very good going forward.

‘I have a feeling that is something, by chance, which could work for us.

‘He’s also very good whenever he gets into the other team’s box, sometimes defenders can freeze a little but he doesn’t, he feels pretty comfortable being in it.

‘James Bolton didn’t make the squad (against Southend), with Brett Pitman coming back, it's Sod’s law.

‘Both he and Anton Walkes are fit and I’m sure will come into the thinking – and so will Brandon.’

McCrorie’s injury is expected to sideline him for up to a month, potentially five fixtures.

And while Gallen feels Haunstrup can perform as a replacement, he has stressed the importance of raising his defensive game.

He added: ‘You aren’t going to see him use his right foot a lot at right-back, but, the type of player he is, I don’t think it’s going to hinder us.

‘Defensively he needs to brush up at the back post and winning headers, making sure his man doesn’t score from corners, that’s a very important part of the game and the stuff he needs to work on.

‘But, going forward, he is actually very good.’