Kenny Jackett insists a ‘communication’ error was responsible for Jamal Lowe’s apparent Westleigh Park no-show.
Following Pompey’ 2-1 victory over the Hawks on Saturday, the manager claimed his absent winger had been given permission to take the weekend off.
Curiously, earlier in the day, Lowe had been listed in the Blues’ starting XI against the non-leaguers.
His name appeared on the official team sheet distributed from Pompey’s dressing room to the referee, opposition and for media use.
This information was then used by the Hawks to create team sheets handed out to the press, boardroom, hospitality and football scouts.
In this instance, they arrived in the press box around 1.40pm.
However, at 2.27pm, it was announced Gareth Evans was actually in the line-up – not Wigan target Lowe.
The News has seen the original team sheet which emerged from the dressing room, clearly stating Lowe was in the side and Evans among the substitutes.
With Lowe keen to link-up again with Paul Cook at Wigan, his absence was the biggest indication yet his Fratton Park stay is nearing its conclusion.
After the final whistle, when asked about the 24-year-old’s whereabouts, Jackett was adamant the team sheet was incorrect rather than a case of the winger going AWOL.
Pompey’s boss told The News: ‘The team sheet was wrong, Bryn Morris wasn’t on the team sheet and he played in the second half.
‘Our communication really, in terms of the side playing, wasn't the best, whether that was Friday or Saturday.
‘We had a busy day on Friday, travelling back, etc, etc and our communication wasn’t right because we left Morris off the team-sheet and obviously Lowe was listed, although wasn’t here and not in the 18.
‘He (Lowe) wasn’t here at all, I’ve talked to him several times this week, but really that decision (to give him the weekend off) was made on Friday by myself.’
Morris’ name had indeed been left off the team sheet distributed by the Hawks – but not on Pompey’s.
With the Hawks able to only list the names of seven substitutes, Morris was not included, along with Matt Casey, Haji Mnoga, Joe Dandy, Eoin Teggart, Stan Bridgman and Alfie Stanley.