Kenny Jackett's message to defender James Bolton after his Portsmouth return from the cold

James Bolton has been challenged: Seize your chance.

Monday, 23rd December 2019, 6:00 pm
Updated Monday, 23rd December 2019, 7:39 pm

Kenny Jackett believes the right-back has the opportunity to really make a positive mark as a Pompey player over the Christmas period.

Bolton is set to continue against Wycombe on Boxing Day after replacing Ross McCrorie when was injured in the first half against Ipswich on Saturday.

The 25-year-old arrived on a three-year deal from Shrewsbury this summer, but has found regular playing time hard to come by.

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Bolton has made six league starts with three outings arriving off the bench and a total of 13 appearances in all compeitions.

A spell of five minutes league action in nearly two months preceded his return for the 4-1 loss at Accrington.

Jackett said: ‘It was really good to see him come in on Saturday and we didn’t concede any goals, which was terrific.

James Bolton and Ross McCrorie. Picture: Graham Hunt/ProSportsImages

‘I’ve tried different people there, in terms of the right-back position.

‘For James, there’s been times I’ve felt he’s needed to come out, maybe because of the system.

‘He didn’t let us down at all on Saturday and he made some great blocks towards the end.

‘I don’t want to be critical of him at all, and the chance is there for him now - there’s no reason he can’t go and take it.’

Jackett admitted there’s every chance limited playing time would’ve affected Bolton’s confidence when he found himself away from the starting XI.

But he now will have the chance to build momentum as he’s set to continue against the leaders.

Jackett added: ‘Confidence does get affected (when you’re out of the team).

‘You want a rhythm, a routine and a run in the team.

‘These are all things players talk about and managers want to give. You just have to get results so sometimes can’t do it.

‘There’s no reason why he can’t build on that now.’