Kenny Jackett has insisted Ronan Curtis is capable of winning back his place in the Republic of Ireland squad.
The Pompey winger has been omitted from Mick McCarthy’s set-up for their upcoming international against New Zealand (November 14) and the crunch Euro 2020 qualifier against Denmark (November 18).
Despite being included in the provisional 39-man panel, Curtis wasn’t required by the Eire boss when he streamlined his squad on Thursday.
It’s disappointing news for the 23-year-old, who has won three caps since making his debut against neighbours Northern Ireland almost a year ago.
The Pompey manager believes Curtis needs to maintain those high levels of performance in order to force his way into Ireland’s plans once again.
And Jackett is certain the ex-Derry City man can do so.
The manager said: ‘Maybe it was a bit of a surprise. I talked to Ronan about it on Friday morning and he will be disappointed.
‘But what he needs to do is keep up his good recent form.
‘We feel he has a little bit of an upturn in form and, being out of the Ireland squad, he can really concentrate here and help the team climb up the table.
‘Ultimately, that is the idea and the way back to getting back into the Ireland squad.
‘He has had a taste of it and he should be pleased with himself after coming out of the League of Ireland last year.
‘He can show he can do it with some good form for us and he can be in consideration again for Mick McCarthy’s plans.
‘I think Ronan is strong enough to overcome it. He’s had a taste of getting into the Ireland squad and will be wanting to get into it again. He is capable of doing it.’
Curtis pulled out of Ireland’s squad for their Euro 2020 qualifiers against Georgia and Switzerland last month.
After suffering a hamstring injury in the build-up to Pompey’s trip to Doncaster, he was replaced by Brighton’s Aaron Connolly.
The young Seagulls forward, who has started Brighton’s past four Premier League games and bragged a brace in a 3-0 win over Spurs, retains his place in McCarthy’s ranks.
Jackett feels Connolly’s form and the Eire manager’s tactical plans for their forthcoming games might be behind Curtis’ absence.
He added: ‘It depends on other players as well in terms of combinations.
‘Connolly has come through, while the form of other players in that squad around the country and formation the manager is looking for at that particular time is important.
‘They are considerations as well.’