Portsmouth man declares himself ready for positional change and serve as a wing-back against Sunderland

Reeco Hackett-Fairchild is ready to reinvent himself for the Pompey cause – as a left wing-back.

By Neil Allen
Thursday, 30th September 2021, 5:08 pm
Reeco Hackett-Fairchild is ready to take up the left wing-back role if Pompey require him to. Picture: Daniel Chesterton/phcimages.com
Reeco Hackett-Fairchild is ready to take up the left wing-back role if Pompey require him to. Picture: Daniel Chesterton/phcimages.com

The winger has gone from forgotten man to first-team squad regular since Danny Cowley was permanently appointed as Blues head coach in the summer.

This term has seen the 23-year-old feature in 11 of Pompey’s 12 fixtures, starting half of them, while he netted with a free-kick in Tuesday night’s 2-1 defeat at Burton.

With Cowley having introduced wing-backs for the last three matches, he lacks competition with Lee Brown in the left-sided role.

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However, Hackett-Fairchild has featured there fleetingly in recent weeks after introduced from the bench.

And he’s willing to offer his services there on a permanent basis as the Blues head into Saturday’s clash with table-topping Sunderland.

Hackett-Fairchild told The News: ‘I have played as a wing-back a few times and it’s definitely a position I feel I can perform in.

‘Even if you play on the wing, you have to do your defensive work for the team, such as chasing back.

‘In every position you have got to do your defending, there’s not too much of a difference between a wing-back and winger.

‘The defensive side of my game is something I’ve been working on. Danny mentioned that he wants me to be better defensively and I feel I have improved there.

‘I’m also naturally left footed, normally a lot of wingers cut inside because they are right footed.

‘I came on as a substitute to play the role against Cambridge United and Plymouth, then right-back for 10 minutes in the last game at Burton.

‘I also played there once for Southend and off the bench there as well, so it’s something I have tried before.

‘It’s an option at Pompey and I’ll play there if required, I will play anywhere.’

Pompey face the league leaders having shipped two goals in each of their last four matches.

It continues a worrying trend in the absence of skipper Clark Robertson, after not conceding in their opening four matches.

Primarily, an error from Lee Brown was behind the opening goal in the Blues’ 2-1 defeat at Burton.

And Hackett-Fairchild has pinpointed the sudden goal glut into Pompey’s net as being the result of individual mistakes rather than defensive concerns.

He added: ‘We're a team, we do everything together, but our goals have come from mistakes.

‘Broken down it’s just little things, if there were massive issues then you would be in trouble. But we are conceding sloppy goals and it’s nothing we can’t rectify.

‘It’s just football, sometimes it goes your way, sometimes it doesn’t.’

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