Portsmouth boss on why forgotten man Joe Mason's loan didn't work out ahead of Fratton return with MK Dons
He was unveiled as an 11th-hour deadline-day signing earmarked to add fire-power to Pompey’s attack.
But during his brief spell at Fratton Park, Joe Mason was confined to a bit-part role.
The forward moved to the Blues on loan from Wolves in August 2018.
Having been signed for £3.5m by Kenny Jackett when he was in charge at Molineux, Mason was expected to play a fairly prominent part in Pompey’s League One promotion push.
However, things couldn’t have been any different.
The Plymouth-born ace made just four Blues appearances, with only one coming in the third tier.
Jackett had a settled front four of Oli Hawkins, Gareth Evans, Jamal Lowe and Ronan Curtis, with Pompey sitting in the top two for the majority of the first half of the campaign.
Mason departed PO4 at the end of his loan deal on January 2, before leaving Wolves by mutual consent later in the month.
Last summer, he put pen to paper at MK Dons and bagged four goals in 16 games in the 2019-20 campaign.
Mason’s netted once so far this term as he prepares to return to PO4 for the first time since his departure.
And Jackett is wary that Pompey will have to nullify the threat of the ‘natural goalscorer'.
The Blues boss said: ‘It didn't quite work out for Joe here.
‘But he's a natural goalscorer, Joe, and was always going to pick up a club and a good club in MK Dons.
'He couldn't get into the team when he was here.
‘It was a good front four that we had at the time and they didn't miss any games, either.
‘He was waiting patiently for his chance but we were in good form at the time and didn't get injuries so he didn't get the opportunity he was looking for.’
The Dons are currently rooted to the bottom of the table, having picked up just two points in their opening four matches.
Manager Russel Martin's summer recruitment has been eye-catching, though, signing the likes of ex-Derby captain Richard Keogh and Scott Fraser.
Jackett stressed that Pompey won’t be understimating their opponents.
He added: ‘MK Dons have got some very good players. In their game against Ipswich last week, they were unlucky just to draw so we know we're in for a good game.
‘It's early season and, although maybe results haven't quite gone for them, performances have been good.
‘I'm sure they're confident going forward and have the vast majority of the season left so we're certainly not underestimating their team.’