'Selection decision' behind Jordy Hiwula's Portsmouth omission for Hull game

It was a question many Pompey fans posed when the Blues team sheet was submitted an hour before today’s Hull game – where’s Hiwula?

By Mark McMahon
Saturday, 23rd January 2021, 7:46 pm
Pompey forward Jordy Hiwula
Pompey forward Jordy Hiwula

In fairness, it’s a near weekly topic of debate amongst supporters who like to frequent social media.

But the subject matter mainly gathers pace at the end of a match day, when the former Coventry front man remains on the bench, watching on from the sidelines.

Today, however, it was a question which warranted further examination as it emerged that the 26-year-old hadn’t even made the dugout for the crunch game against Grant McCann’s side.

There was no sign of him among the subs named – nor was there any mention of him in the starting XI, just in case anyone wondered whether manager Kenny Jackett had sprung a selection surprise.

It raised a few eyebrows among some, with the striker having played just 10 minutes of League One football since his arrival on a free transfer in October.

However, it was a welcome move, with Jackett himself admitting to seeing potential in a possible new-look strike force with Hiwula alongside Ellis Harrison in the Papa John’s Trophy defeat at Peterborough.

Hope at last!

Yet that game – his third outing in that particular competition – remains the last we’ve seen of the forward on the field of play.

Meanwhile, his four-minute cameo as a substitute against Crewe on November 21 remains his last league outing.

It’s led to speculation that all cannot right behind the scenes. Why else would the forward not be featuring?

However, when asked yet again about Hiwula’s lack of action – or bench action in this instance – Jackett revealed the former Bradford and Fleetwood man’s absence from the match-day squad was purely a ‘selection’ issue.

The manager said: ‘It was a selection decision.

‘I just wanted to maybe cover one or two situations with an extra defender’.

It’s fair to say, this current Pompey squad has strength and depth – irrespective of today’s 4-0 defeat at the hands of Hull.

Jackett has many options available to him – choices which have been further enhanced by the recent arrivals of Harvey White, Charlie Daniels and now George Byers.

He’ll need that additional quality between now and the end of the season, with 24 league matches still to be played.

But what’s the point in having someone occupy a precious squad place if there appears little chance of a certain player actually featuring or contributing?

It, therefore, makes you wonder what both the club and player are actually getting out of the current situation?

No-one seems to be winning at this moment in time.

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

The News has launched a new subscription offer which gives you unlimited access to all of our Pompey coverage, starting at less than £1 a week.

You can subscribe here to get the latest news and transfer updates from Fratton Park - and to support our local team of expert Pompey writers.