Portsmouth postponements a possibility this season because of international call-ups

Marcus Harness is looking to become Pompey’s latest international.

Tuesday, 23rd July 2019, 6:00 pm
Updated Tuesday, 23rd July 2019, 6:26 pm
Ross McCrorie battles Joshua Onomah for the ball for Scotland under-21s against England. Picture: Mark Runnacles/Getty Images

And if Harness impresses the Eire boss, it could result in the Blues putting a request into the Football League to postpone several games during the 2019-20 season.

If three or more players from one club are called up for international duty in League One and Two, it means those team affected can re-arrange fixtures.

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Of Kenny Jackett’s current squad, at least two look likely to be away with their respective nations during the first international break of the campaign in September.

Ronan Curtis will be aiming to maintain his spot in Ireland’s set-up.

Capped at under-21 level when he arrived from Derry City last summer, his scintillating Pompey performances helped propel him to a senior breakthrough. 

The winger made his bow off the bench in a 0-0 friendly draw with neighbours Northern Ireland last October, before making his competitive debut against Denmark the following month.

Curtis was included in McCarthy’s squad for European Championship 2020 qualifiers with Denmark and Gibraltar after the Blues’ play-off semi-final defeat to Sunderland, but was an unused substitute in both.

Ireland look to build on reaching next year’s tournament against Switzerland on September 5, before meeting Bulgaria in a friendly five days later.

Meanwhile, another Scotland under-21 call-up for Ross McCrorie will be on the cards.

The Rangers loanee has featured 11 times for his country and skippered them several times.

He'll be regarded as a key player when Scotland begin their Euro 2021 campaign against San Marino on September 5. 

Even if Harness doesn't impress enough during his early PO4 career to earn a berth in Ireland’s squad, the Blues could still see their home game against Southend on September 7 postponed.

Ryan Williams earned a maiden Australia cap when coming on for the final 17 minutes of their 1-0 defeat to South Korea last month.

Australia have a World Cup qualifier against Kuwait on September 10.

Meanwhile, there are a trio of other Blues players who shouldn’t be ruled out also playing internationally. 

Despite his Yorkshire accent, Craig MacGillivray hails from Galashiels, Scotland.

The keeper had a superb first season on the south coast, establishing himself as Jackett’s No1 and keeping 17 clean sheets.

It’s an area manager Steve Clarke is well stocked, with the likes of Wigan's David Marshall, Celtic’s Scott Bain and Jon McLoughlin of Sunderland to select from. 

But another string of impressive displays on the south coast from MacGillivray might force Clarke to take note.

Scotland have Euros qualifiers at Hampden Park against Russia (September 6) and Belgium (September 9).

Louis Dennis has been brought in from the cold during Pompey pre-season.

After making just eight appearances last term – with only one in the league – the forward has been catching the eye over the summer.

The ex-Bromley man looks set to be part of Jackett's plans for this season’s renewed promotion push. 

Finally, Sean Raggett’s also hoping regular football could give him an opportunity of playing for Ireland.

The on-loan Norwich defender’s dad is from Cork. 

A potential fixture congestion later in the season might mean Pompey fulfil the games even if three or more players are on international duty.

With a promotion push in prospect, Jackett may feel he’d have the squad to cope regardless rather than cramming in games at a later date.

Nevertheless, it could still be an option.

Check out our 2019-20 season preview special in Sunday’s Sports Mail with exclusive interviews with Kenny Jackett and his squad. Still only 80p!