Portsmouth give fitness update on winger and midfielder

Pompey's Louis Dennis. Picture: Joe Pepler
Pompey's Louis Dennis. Picture: Joe Pepler
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Louis Dennis is available for the season opener at Shrewsbury after being omitted from Pompey’s final warm-up.

Assistant manager Joe Gallen explained Dennis was left out of the last pre-season friendly at Woking to give fit-again Oli Hawkins a 90-minute run out.

But Gallen explained there’s nothing wrong with the 26-year-old, who remains an option for Kenny Jackett as his team go to New Meadow on Saturday.

Hawkins benefitted from the game time after a return from a back injury, as he got two goals and some much needed action.

Gallen told how spreading around the minutes was the motivating factor in the decision.

He said: ‘There’s nothing wrong with Louis, but with Hawkins being fit it felt like he should play.

Pompey's Bryn Morris. Picture: Joe Pepler

Pompey's Bryn Morris. Picture: Joe Pepler

‘Louis trained and trained very well. There’s no problem with Louis.

‘There’s too many forwards for them all to play.

‘If he played, maybe Hawks (Hawkins) didn’t play or Pits (Pitman) didn’t play.

‘Louis has played some 90 minutes and Oli hasn’t so that’s why it happened.’

The news is not so positive for Bryn Morris with the midfielder still feeling the groin problem which has limited his pre-season outings.

The 23-year-old played the second half in the first warm-up game against Irish side UCD and had 20 minutes against Hawks.

But the ongoing issue has kept him out of action since, and despite being in line to play on Tuesday it was eventually decided to err on the side of caution with the former Shrewsbury man.

Now Pompey have to assess the issue before deciding the best course of action.

Gallen added: ‘Bryn trained on Monday and was down to play.

‘But he woke up on Tuesday and felt the groin.

‘He was down to play and trained on Monday - and very well.

‘This niggle with his groin doesn’t seem to be going away, though.

‘He let us know on the day of the game it didn’t feel right - and  that’s disappointing.

‘We want him to play because he’s a good player.

‘We were hoping he would play but because of that he wasn’t there.’