The key benefit Portsmouth can take from the Southend game being postponed
It’s been another weekend without going down the Park for fans.
For the second time in 15 days, the Fratton faithful had to find something else to occupy their Saturday afternoon.
Pompey's clash with Southend was postponed after Ronan Curtis, Craig MacGillivray and Ross McCrorie were called up for international duty.
The decision was made following the 1-1 draw at Blackpool, with Marcus Harness’ thigh strain he picked up proving the deciding factor.
Despite being without four players from the starting line-up at Bloomfield Road, there were still supporters who felt the Southend game still should have gone ahead.
Even Shrimpers fans couldn’t quite believe it had been called off given the predicament their club’s in.
Southend have begun the campaign miserably, losing their opening six games, which resulted in Kevin Bond resigning as boss on Friday.
Then factor in another Tuesday night fixture to cram into the diary, along with the Rotherham game postponed last month. A date for that encounter is still to be decided on.
The Blues are still to build any real impetus on the pitch, collecting five points from their opening five League One games, and it’s been a stuttered start to the campaign.
However, there is one key positive that can be taken from the Shrimpers match not going ahead.
That’s the fact it’s given the players on the treatment table extra time to recover from their setbacks without missing another game.
The Australian’s been troubled with a quad injury he picked up in pre-season, which has plagued him for significantly longer than the two-week timescale originally projected.
Williams is closing in on his return, though, and he'll likely feature against Norwich under-21s in the EFL Trophy.
So far this term, Pompey have only had two out-and-out wingers available in Curtis and Harness.
Squad rotation will be key to ensure there are no burnouts come May – like what happened to Curtis and Jamal Lowe at the business end of last season.
Williams, who helped the Millers earn promotion from the third tier in 2017, will have a role to play.
So will Oli Hawkins, who’s also yet to feature this term.
Firstly a back injury sustained in Ireland, followed by a foot complaint has confined him to the sidelines.
The additions of John Marquis and Ellis Harrison have nudged Hawkins down the striker pecking order after being the Blues’ focal point for the majority of last term.
Nevertheless, Jackett rebuffed the phone calls that came in for the hitman this summer and there'll be scenarios when his attributes see him given the nod.
Harness also should be available for Pompey’s next league fixture against his former side Burton on September 17, while Lee Brown will be a step closer to overcoming his Achilles complaint.
Their returns will breed further competition into the squad, which, naturally, should bolster performance levels.