Hard work paying off for reinvented Portsmouth captain Brett Pitman
Kenny Jackett credited Brett Pitman following another standout showing since his Pompey role reinvention.
And the Blues boss was full of praise for the work-rate the former Bournemouth striker is continuing to display as a number 10.
In-form Pitman took his goal tally to 11 for the season after a fine double in Pompey’s thrilling 3-2 triumph at Wycombe.
His recent resurgence has been made all the more remarkable having fallen out of favour at Fratton Park.
Jackett failed to include the front man in match-day squads for four successive matches following the FA Cup fourth round replay defeat at QPR in February.
Yet a brief glimpse of his qualities as a substitute at Charlton last month in an unfamiliar number 10 role kick-started his resurgence.
Now Pitman has scored four goals in five games since his re-emergence.
And Jackett has been impressed with his impact.
He said: ‘In terms of his work rate, Brett has worked very hard to get back in the team.
‘That is something that I’ve been pleased with.
‘Brett’s scored some key goals.
‘He’s got another two (against Wycombe) and his free-kick proved to be the winner, which is credit to him.
‘Brett’s free-kick was a good finish.
‘But as was his first goal.
‘It was a good lay-off from Oli (Hawkins) then Gareth’s ball through and it was a good slot from Pitman.’
Jackett also pinpointed the determination of midfielder Ben Close and Christian Burgess as they continue to play a key part in the Blues’ automatic promotion push.
Both of those and Pitman have been out of the team at certain points during the season.
But the Pompey boss believes they are getting their rewards for a string of fine performances.
Jackett added: ‘There have also been some other big performances.
‘Christian (Burgess) again impressed.
‘He is someone who didn’t get many games in the first half of the season because of Jack Whatmough’s form, it was that good.
‘Also Ben Close, not just against Wycombe, but right through the second half of the season when it was tough for him to get into the team because of the form of Ben Thompson.
‘There are three lads there who have been in and out this season but are doing well for us now.’