Portsmouth's task at Accrington to be made easier as hosts continue stand-off with summer Stoke and Hibs target Dion Charles

Pompey’s task against Accrington will be made slightly easier as the Blues travel to the Wham Stadium tomorrow.

Friday, 22nd October 2021, 6:00 pm

That’s because Accy hitman Dion Charles continues to be omitted from the hosts’ match-days squads due to an ongoing contract stand-off with boss John Coleman.

The Northern Ireland international was continuously linked with a move away from Stanley during the summer, with Championship and Scottish Premiership clubs all keeping tabs on his situation.

A move never materialised, though, for the striker who was snapped up from non-league Southport in 2019.

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Reports suggest Accy were seeking £2m as Stoke lined up a move – a price the Potters were not prepared to entertain.

And with the 26-year-old’s contract due to expire at the season’s end, it’s been claimed that he’s refusing to sign a new deal to extend his stay in Lancashire.

Questioning Charles’ attitude earlier this month, Coleman said: ‘Dion needs to realise it’s a two-way process football.

‘We have given him a massive lift-up in his career and he has to show commitment to the club.

Dion Charles has been left out of Accrington's match-day squad for seven consecutive games. Picture: Gareth Copley/Getty Images

‘At this moment in time, he is not.’

Because of the ongoing situation, Charles hasn’t featured for Accrington since a trip to Sunderland on September 11 and has been overlooked for seven consecutive games.

Indeed, he’s played more times for Northern Ireland than his club since the beginning of last month.

It’s a sad situation for the player – but for Pompey it will be welcome news.

Last season, the striker scored 20 goals in all competitions, including a hat-trick against Bristol Rovers, as Accrington finished 11th in League One.

Since joining Accy, he’s scored 30 times in 97 appearances has his stock has risen.

And with Pompey conceding 14 goals in their last six league games, his extended spell on the sidelines provides the club with a much-needed boost.

Now they only have Colby Bishop to worry about!

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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