Portsmouth boss Kenny Jackett gives verdict on Paul Downing as defender prepares for his Rochdale chance
Kenny Jackett promised he’s got faith in Paul Downing as he readied himself for a Pompey return.
And the Blues boss vowed he has confidence in the summer arrival’s partnership with Christian Burgess as they prepared to link up once again.
It will be the defender’s first league start in over two months, after falling out of contention after his arrival from Blackburn.
Jackett praised his impact when coming on at Harrogate in the FA Cup and underlined he doesn’t have any hesitation turning to the 28-year-old.
He said: ‘Paul settled us down quite at bit with his attitude (at Harrogate).
‘For Paul, anyway, like the team, there were quite a few who didn’t settle well at the start (of the season).
‘There were quite a few people like that, not just Paul.
‘Similarly, though, for him he’s a good player, very experienced at this level and a good trainer.
‘I know he will always be ready and he’s working hard to get his next opportunity.’
But the Pompey boss stated he has no qualms the pair have the right attributes to work together.
Jackett added: ‘I do (have confidence in them).
‘I think they are both experienced, talk very well and organise.
‘More often than not they make good decisions. They’re very experienced as well – they’re both 28. So yes, I do have confidence in them.
‘When Paul’s played he’s played with a big ‘un, if you like in terms of Blackburn or then at Doncaster.
‘But he’s proven at this level and done very well.
‘He can do it, he just came into a side at the start when we didn’t quite get it right, that’s all.
‘But that won’t worry him and he’s been working hard towards his next chance.
‘He works hard so he’s ready when he’s called upon.’