Portsmouth address fan frustration over Jordy Hiwula's lack of chances and why his deal was extended
Joe Gallen acknowledged the growing fan frustration over Jordy Hiwula's lack of Pompey game time and declared: he’ll get his chance in the near future.
Large sections of the Fratton faithful were left baffled why the striker was again unused in Tuesday night's 3-1 defeat at Bristol Rovers.
Despite the Blues needing to reduce a two-goal deficit, their final substitution saw holding-midfielder Harvey White replace Ryan Williams on 80 minutes.
Before that, Ellis Harrison was given the nod from the bench over Hiwula in an attempt to salvage a result.
Since arriving as a free agent in October, the ex-Coventry forward has made only seven appearances for Pompey, scoring three goals.
What's more, he’s been handed just two substitute outings in the League One promotion push – adding up to a total of 10 minutes.
With Harrison and John Marquis currently short of form, there is clamour among supporters for Hiwula to be given an opportunity to impress.
Gallen insists that Pompey maintain belief in the 26-year-old – and he will soon be unleashed in the league.
The Blues’ assistant boss said: ‘There is nothing we don't like about Jordy and he would have been frustrated he hasn't had some chances.
‘But there is still a long way of the season to go. He trains brilliantly and is pushing hard and I think we will see quite a bit of Jordy in the near future.
‘I understand the fans' frustration and I do believe we will be seeing him pretty soon.
‘The decision at Bristol Rovers was to bring Ellis on because he gives us a physical presence. If you analyse where our penalty came from (which John Marquis missed), it was Ellis who headed it down for the foul.
‘But Jordy can get on and get some goals. He is pushing for a start and he needs to keep being professional because a chance is coming soon.
‘I hope Jordy comes on and takes it because I'll be the first to congratulate him.
‘All players not picked have a certain amount of frustration but the training sessions on Thursday mornings, where a hard session is put on, has been excellent.
‘Jordy is here to play and believes in himself so he needs to be ready when asked.’
Some supporters have questioned why Pompey bothered to even hand Hiwula a contract extension last month.
Since committing his future for the rest of the season, the ex-England youth international hasn’t played a minute of league action.
However, the Blues didn’t want to leave themselves short of senior striking options as they bid to finally remove their third-tier shackles.
Gallen added: ‘I acknowledge the supporters' frustration but there is a hell of a lot of the season to go.
‘Normally towards the end of February, there are fewer games than there are this season.
‘We have signed him for the long term, we have signed him to be successful and there is still plenty of time to get his chance, take his chance and stay in the team.’