Portsmouth boss Kenny Jackett: Improved Louis Dennis has caught my eye

Louis Dennis has caught Kenny Jackett's eye during pre-season. Picture: Habibur Rahman
Louis Dennis has caught Kenny Jackett's eye during pre-season. Picture: Habibur Rahman
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Kenny Jackett is relishing watching reinvigorated Louis Dennis’ forthcoming audition pieces.

The early pre-season training presence of the attacker has impressed Pompey management and team-mates following a frustrating maiden campaign.

Plucked from the non-league game, the 26-year-old made just eight appearances last season – and none after February 5.

Yet Dennis has returned to the Blues with a noticeable swagger, catching the eye on the training pitch so far.

With forthcoming fixtures against UCD tonight and the Hawks on Saturday, he will have his chance to shine in match action.

And Jackett has sung the praises of a player attracting interest from other clubs.

He said: ‘Louis has worked hard in the gym and the biggest difference is physically he is strong.

‘In the last week-and-a-half, he has trained well and I am looking forward to the games and seeing him against UCD and Havant, that will be a good indication of the test.

‘In terms of pre-season, though, so far he’s had a good one and looks good.

‘The reason he is here is to get into the first-team, that has to be his aim, and if we're looking at two players per position, everyone is either in the team or one step from it. Louis is no different.

‘It’s pretty easy to see our pattern with the 22 players we have, plus young Joe Hancott, who gives us some balance on the left-hand side. There’s a place and competition for everybody.

‘Louis has come back in good condition, looks good in training and looks like he can score goals.

‘It’s early days – and I’m looking forward to seeing him in the games.’

Should Pompey declare Dennis is surplus to requirements, there remains interest in the wings.

But Jackett has reiterated there will be no departure unless a replacement can be identified.

He added: ‘There has been interest, but I don’t want to move off this number of players in the squad.

‘After we let someone go, somebody else would have to be lined up to come in.

‘That is important, we are into the pre-season period now and key to that is making sure we work as a team and are settled down.’