Kenny Jackett pledges to end Portsmouth wing experimentation

Kenny Jackett is banking on familiarity reaping rewards after his wing experiment failed to fire.

Friday, 9th August 2019, 10:00 am
Marcus Harness was restored to Pompey's right against Birmingham following Kenny Jackett's wing swap on the opening day of the season. Picture: Robin Jones.

The Blues boss opted to swap flanks in last weekend’s League One opener at Shrewsbury, with limited success.

Repositioning Ronan Curtis on the right and Marcus Harness on the left, the selection didn’t spark, prompting a second-half rethink.

Come Tuesday night’s Carabao Cup visit of Birmingham, both were restored to their usual sides, culminating in a 3-0 victory.

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And with Tranmere visiting Fratton Park on Saturday, Jackett once again intends to keep the pair in their natural habitats.

Pompey’s boss said: ‘I wanted Ronan and Marcus to swap a little bit during the game – and it didn’t happen as much as I thought.

‘On Tuesday night I swapped it back because I felt Brown and Curtis are quite established and quite a force going forward.

‘With Marcus, there's a little bit of work for me, as manager, in finding his best position. Is it right or left? Can he develop into a 10? We will see.

‘Against Birmingham, almost all of the game I played him on the right – I think it gives him the best chance to find his feet, bed into a new club and get to know his team-mates.

‘With Ronan, there were times last year he was coming inside all the time.

‘In the early season he caught everybody out, then was going inside and there were 2-3 defenders every time.

‘Generally, his best position has been wide left, but if that isn't working swapping them over may do.’

Curtis has proven a regular choice for Pompey on the left of the attacking three since his arrival last summer.

Meanwhile, Harness is attempting to fill a vacancy which has developed on the right following Jamal Lowe’s move to Wigan.

Jackett added: ‘When Jamal played on the left, it didn’t really happen for him.

‘But on the right he was almost our best player and one of the most effective players in the division, so that's where I kept him.

‘On the rare occasions I moved him to the left or even during the game, he was losing part of his strengths.’