Kenny Jackett addresses Portsmouth flak Ronan Curtis faced against Bolton - and how he must overcome it

Ronan Curtis was substituted for Gareth Evans on 62 minutes against Bolton. Picture: Joe Pepler
Ronan Curtis was substituted for Gareth Evans on 62 minutes against Bolton. Picture: Joe Pepler
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Ronan Curtis has been backed to beat the Pompey boo boys.

Kenny Jackett is adamant the Irishman is good enough to silence the flak he received during the 1-0 victory over Bolton Wanderers on Saturday.

Curtis has struggled to reach the heights he reached last season so far this campaign.

His out-of-sorts form continued with another disappointing performance against the Trotters.

The winger was substituted on 62 minutes for fans’ favourite Gareth Evans, moments after enraging the Fratton faithful for an attempted cross into the box that was screwed out of play for a goal-kick.

The decision to Curtis’ early withdrawal then prompted another reaction from the crowd, with a large contingent of fans cheering Jackett’s decision to take him off.

The 23-year-old, who took aim at supporters on Twitter after the final whistle but then removed the post, now has to show the character to overcome his critics.

And Jackett is confident Curtis can do so.

The Pompey boss said: ‘The left foot cross was just before the substitution.

‘For Ronan anyway, I do feel that his main thing has been going inside on his right foot and getting shots in, although the shots haven’t always been there for him.

‘He always puts massive amount of effort in Ronan, all of the time.

‘I took him off and put Gareth there. Gareth is an experienced player who I think can play in that left-side role for us because his left-foot is good enough, his work-rate is good and he can get shots in.

‘It wasn’t quite Ronan’s day, but he always gives it everything and he will be back. That is football life.’

Curtis enjoyed a fine maiden season at Fratton Park after arriving from Derry City in May 2018.

He netted 12 times in 52 appearances, helping Pompey reach the League One play-off semi-finals and win the Checkatrade Trophy.

Curtis also earned a breakthrough into the Republic of Ireland senior squad.

But the south London-born wide man has yet to replicate those levels of performances this term.

Jackett heaped praise on Curtis’ work-rate he always displays. 

But now he has to come ‘through some tough times’ to bounce back.

Jackett added: ‘He hasn’t (had that reaction before). He’s been with us a year since coming over from Derry and he has to come through some tough times.

‘That’s where it is and he is capable of that and is good enough.

‘Ronan always gives it his best, he always works hard although it wasn’t quite his day in terms of his delivery on Saturday.’