Portsmouth skipper gives verdict on new-look midfield partnership with Bryn Morris

Tom Naylor backed Pompey’s new midfield partnership to grow this season.

Monday, 21st September 2020, 6:30 pm

The Blues’ skipper has been paired with Bryn Morris in the middle park in all five games so far this term.

And Naylor believes their understanding is beginning to show signs of developing, as Kenny Jackett’s side bid to make it to the Championship at the fourth attempt.

The pair have been tasked with providing security in front of the defence in Jackett’s preferred 4-2-3-1 formation, with one of the two getting forward to support the attacking players when the chance presents itself.

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Naylor acknowledged there’s still plenty of work for the duo to do at this formative stage of the season, with Ben Close also pushing for playing time.

Andy Cannon is another option and could be used in a deeper role, despite largely operating as a number 10, while Gareth Evans offers the squad versatility.

But Naylor thinks there are positive signs with him and Morris, with things only likely to improve moving forward.

He said: ‘We’ve played together for five games now and I think we’re beginning to develop a good understanding.

Tom Naylor. (Photo by Daniel Chesterton/phcimages.com)

‘We’ve been speaking about how it’s going and how we can improve.

‘We’ve maybe just got to pass to each other a bit more, make space and try to get it into the number 10.

‘I think we’ve started to do that. Against Brighton the first time the pass around the corner was there we did it and it worked. When we got the chance to do it, we did.

‘If he goes forward, I’m there and we’ll always back each other up.

‘Hopefully it’s a partnership which can grow for us now throughout the rest of the season.’

Naylor is hopeful that him and Morris can also quickly build an understanding with Michael Jacobs, who is being earmarked to fill the number 10 role after arriving last week.

The pair know each other from their days at Derby, and the Pompey captain believes the new boy has what it takes to come good on his ambition of bringing 10 goals and assists to the side this season.

Naylor added: ‘He’s experienced and he’s been there and done it all.

‘His record shows that he’s got goals and assists from midfield, he’ll be a great signing.

‘I know him from Derby obviously and he’s settled in quite well, to be fair.

‘We’ll see when he’s ready now, but I’m sure he’ll come good for us in the forthcoming season.

‘He’s been in the Championship and once you’ve done it there, you can do it anywhere really.

‘We just need to give him the service and I’m sure he’ll delivery the goods for us.’

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