Kenny Jackett analyses Callum Johnson's Portsmouth impact - and backs him to shine brighter
Kenny Jackett saluted Callum Johnson’s instant Pompey impact and insisted: There’s plenty more to come.
The right-back has slotted into the Blues side impressively following his arrival from Accrington in early September.
His recruitment represented the first Pompey transfer fee paid to a Football League club since July 2019, such was their faith in the former Middlesbrough youngster.
Johnson has subsequently been a League One ever-present, starting all nine matches for the ninth-placed club.
And Jackett has been delighted with the 24-year-old’s Fratton Park introduction.
Pompey’s boss said: ‘He’s a good player, Callum, and there is a lot more to come.
‘We have been pleased with his start, he’s been very solid and, if you can get the ball out to him, he can link really well and drive forward.
‘It was a very good ball he put in for the second goal, he has a lot of quality in those moments, which is something we were looking for. At 24, there is a lot of progress in him.
‘His quality is there, he put one or two good quality crosses in on Tuesday night. Can he drive forward and get in more crosses? Definitely, he is capable of it and has the ability.
‘But, similarly, I always think for full-backs to get forward you have to win the midfield. If there are spells when you don’t then it’s hard for the full-back to get forward.
‘It is part of the system, we always want our full-backs to be able to come on and drive forward and Callum has that.
‘He has the attitude to do very well. He’s at an age where he’s had good experience and, most importantly I think, has his best years ahead of him.
‘He will only keep getting better.’
Johnson’s arrival has resulted in James Bolton removed from the right-back area he established himself in last season.
Bolton made 33 appearances and scored twice last term, yet has been omitted from Pompey’s last eight League One squads.
He has been restricted to three outings – none of which have come in the league – with Haji Mnoga’s emergence also telling.
The teenage defender was on the bench ahead of Bolton against Northampton, signalling his first league squad involvement of the season.
And Jackett acknowledged both offer fine back up to first-choice right-back Johnson.
He added: ‘Haji was on the bench against Northampton and James Bolton hasn’t ever let us down and is a good player as well, he’ll be frustrated at not playing yet.
‘Both Haji and James are our other options for the right-back spot.’
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