Kenny Jackett's message to out-of-favour Portsmouth striker Brett Pitman
Brett Pitman has been told: make sure you take your next Pompey chance.
The striker finds himself firmly on the Fratton Park fringes after being left at home for Saturday’s League One victory at Bolton.
That was the third successive squad Pitman was omitted from, although he missed the Blues’ 2-1 victory over AFC Wimbledon because of illness.
The ex-skipper hasn’t started a league game since early October, while his last appearance was an 18-minute substitute cameo at MK Dons on December 29.
It’s proved fruitless for the 31-year-old so far, although he’s in contention to feature against Scunthorpe in the EFL Trophy quarter-final tomorrow night.
And Jackett stressed Pitman must grasp his opportunity should he be given the nod.
The Pompey boss said: ‘Brett trains hard and is waiting for his chance to come around again.
‘He trained as normal on Monday and is waiting for it to come around.
‘Whether anybody will come in for any of my players, I don’t know but obviously nothing is happening at the moment and it is very quiet.
‘Really, my forward positions have been John Marquis and Ellis Harrison, but Brett’s had opportunities and minutes this season as well.
‘There haven't been that many of late, really since we went to Andy Cannon in the number-10 role.
‘He needs to work hard in training and be patient. He needs to wait for that chance and make sure he takes it when it comes.’
Since arriving from Ipswich in July 2017, Pitman has scored 42 goals in 99 appearances for Pompey.
He’s able to operate in the number-nine and number-10 positions – but is down the pecking order in both.
Jackett added: ‘In terms of my nine and my 10 positions, Andy Cannon has been deserving of a chance. He's had the minutes that maybe Brett hasn’t and thickened up our midfield.
‘Brett can play in either the nine or 10 position – both of the forward positions.
‘I’ll decide in the morning where we are, but I won’t hesitate to use him (against Scunthorpe) if I think it’s right.
‘In recent weeks, my choice has been Harrison or Marquis to play the nine, while Oli Hawkins played there at Walsall.
‘In the number 10, Marquis, Gareth Evans and Andy Cannon have had the most minutes but Brett wants the chance and opportunity to play.’