Danny Cowley weighs up Michael Jacobs' Portsmouth first-team suitability after eye-catching cameo at Sunderland
It was a cameo, yet in 12 minutes Michael Jacobs provided a compelling argument for his Pompey inclusion.
And while Danny Cowley admits it’s difficult squeezing the winger into his current system, he is adamant he can find room.
Following a strong first-half, the Blues would have been disappointed to find themselves behind at the interval to Elliot Embleton’s 41st-minute goal.
Frustratingly in the second half, Cowley’s men were alarmingly short of creativity and never suggested they were capable of hauling themselves level.
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Jacobs’ 78th-minute entrance in place of Clark Robertson did, however, noticeably add a touch of quality and attacking threat so glaring absent.
And while he couldn’t prevent a 1-0 defeat, the ex-Wigan man has sparked a debate to be handed a starting spot.
Cowley told The News: ‘I thought Michael was a positive when he came on.
‘He came on and gave us that little bit of quality that maybe we hadn’t had, not in the second half anyway.
‘I think he has put his hand up for selection now. We can get him in the side, I definitely think we can.
‘We have to remember that he plays in the same position as Marcus Harness in this system and Marcus has scored nine league goals this season and been a key player for us.
‘So maybe we have to look at a way of getting him in the team.
‘Michael only plays in a certain area of the pitch. So really in any system – if it’s a 4-2-3-1 or a 4-3-3 – there’s only really one place that Michael plays him.
‘However, he came on and gave us a little bit of quality we didn’t have – and we need some more quality in the final third.’
Back in November, Jacobs netted in League One wins over AFC Wimbledon and Gillingham.
However, the 30-year-old has started just one league match all season, while has been called off the bench on 10 occasions.
With Pompey having drawn blanks in four of their six League One fixtures, it is clear they are crying out for creativity in the final third.
Following his impressive entrance at the Stadium Of Light, that has put the spotlight on Jacobs, who has long proven a popular figure among the Fratton faithful.
And he could find himself in the frame for a recall in the Blues’ next match – against Charlton at Fratton Park on January 31.
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