Portsmouth boss discusses Swansea loanee's starting credentials after impressive cameo

George Byers is pushing for a full Pompey debut after making the difference in his latest cameo.

Friday, 12th February 2021, 6:00 am
George Byers. Picture: Joe Pepler

The midfielder arrived on loan at Fratton Park from Swansea during the January transfer window.

Having featured only once for the south Wales outfit during the first half of the season, Byers hoped to gain regular minutes on the south coast.

However, he's had to remain patient so far, as Andy Cannon and Tom Naylor continue to be Kenny Jackett's preferred centre-midfield duo.

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All three of Byers’ appearances to date have been off the bench – although he made an eye-catching impact in the Tuesday night’s 2-0 win over Swindon.

Replacing Marcus Harness on 59 minutes, the ex-Watford man's perfectly-weighted pass saw Ryan Williams brought down in the box. Ellis Harrison subsequently tucked home the penalty to wrap up all three points.

Byers' performance was exactly what Jackett wanted to see when he introduced Byers.

Now the former Scotland youth international is in contention to start when Pompey travel to Crewe tomorrow.

Blues boss Jackett said: ‘George looked sharp and we are pleased with what he has produced.

‘He will be pushing for a start but that's exactly what you have to do when you're a substitute.

‘You have to come on, make a difference, make a contribution and do everything you can to push into the team.

‘We will need everybody during a busy period. Having fresh players with fresh energy can really help the team and it did against Swindon.

‘George has shown in training with us that he has settled in very well with the players.’

Pompey are certainly not short of options in the engine room.

Naylor and Cannon are presently first choice, with Byers just behind.

The Blues also recruited teenager Harvey White on loan from Tottenham last month. He’s made five substitute outings so far.

Jackett added: ‘We want our midfield to be a strong department. You always go into a transfer window and see if you can make each department as strong as possible.

‘We have freshened our midfield slightly and given ourselves some options.’

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