The challenge facing new Portsmouth boss John Mousinho over former Swansea, Blackburn & Derby summer target

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
John Mousinho has tasked himself with reigniting Ronan Curtis’ Pompey career.

The head coach believes the winger can become a mainstay in his Blues’ ranks and pose a real threat to opposition defences once again if he can unlock the reasons behind a below-par campaign to date.

Mousinho is determined to get the Irishman firing on cylinders once more after revealing his former side Oxford always earmarked Curtis as Pompey’s dangerman in past meetings between the League One rivals.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

To date, Curtis has netted six goals in all competitions this term and is currently the team’s second highest scorer behind Colby Bishop.

However, the 26-year-old has struggled to nail down a regular starting place, with 11 of his 20 appearances in the league this season coming as a substitute.

The Republic of Ireland international found himself on the bench again on Saturday as Mousinho opted for Michael Jacobs to start on the left-wing in a 4-3-3 formation for his first game in charge against Exeter.

Yet that doesn’t mean Curtis – whose contract expires at the end of the season – can expect to remain a fringe player between now and May.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Instead, the new head coach is keen to find the spark to the former Derry man’s form, as he knows at first hand what the winger can do.

Ronan Curtis has scored six goals in 32 appearances for Pompey this seasonRonan Curtis has scored six goals in 32 appearances for Pompey this season
Ronan Curtis has scored six goals in 32 appearances for Pompey this season

‘Ronan’s a brilliant talent in what I’ve seen over the past few years,’ said Mousinho.

‘He’s the sort of player, who, previously if we were playing against Pompey, we would target as their danger. Nullify Ronan’s threats and you’re halfway there.

‘I remember when we played in the play-off semi-finals in the Covid year, a big part of our game was how we stopped Ronan.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

‘Unfortunately at Fratton Park we couldn’t do it because he scored, but in the second leg we did and that played a big part in how the game was won.

‘He’s gone from scoring 10 goals that season, 10 goals in the year after, to scoring one league goal this season. We’ve got to address that.

‘He’s been here for many years but it will feel like a new addition if you can get the Ronan Curtis who scores 10 goals a season.

‘That feels like a real addition to me and everything that I’ve seen so far, and the talks I’ve had with him, tells me that he’s hungry, ready to go and is firing.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

‘There’s a lot of work that we can do on his game, but I just need to get to know him, see what makes him tick and what was inside the mind of Ronan Curtis in those previous seasons that made him such a threat at this level.

‘It’s still there, he’s an excellent player, he’s still young, physically he keeps himself in good shape.

‘It’s all there. I've just got to somehow unlock that – and it’s my job to do that over the next few months.’

Danny Cowley utilised the winger in various positions during his time in charge at Fratton Park.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

But Mousinho, who faces Fleetwood on Tuesday night in his next challenge, is clear on where the Irishman’s best position is.

‘Ronan’s best position is off the left,’ he said.

‘He is quite versatile, there are other positions I do have in mind for him but it’s about getting him back on the left, giving him consistent game time.

‘It will be difficult for Ronan to get back in the team but I know he’s willing to work for that and show me that hunger and desire.’