The man backed to get Portsmouth's faltering season firing once again
Michael Jacobs has been backed to be a potential game-changer for the run-in.
But Kenny Jackett is aware of the need to manage the winger’s return to the Pompey fray.
Jacobs got 31 minutes off the bench against Sunderland in his first outing for a month after a hamstring issue.
It was a welcome return for the 29-year-old, at a time when his team desperately need some positives.
Jackett believes his presence certainly provides that, with 13 league games remaining and Saturday’s EFL Trophy final with Salford City at Wembley up next.
Many of Pompey’s better performances have arrived with Jacobs in the starting line-up, in a campaign which he’s been restricted to 17 appearances to date.
But Jackett is wary of the man who could make a big difference to his team this season suffering a recurrence of the injury - and feels that’s something to guard against.
He said: ‘We don’t want to lose him again.
‘We don’t want to necessarily push him too quickly but he’s very confident in terms of his training, as he was last week really.
‘He’s given us good balance on the left-hand side and a lot of our better results have been with him in there.
‘He’s a very natural player playing in that position, and that’s a good thing.
‘He’s also a very experienced player, but it’s the balance he’s given the team which has really helped.’
Jackett feels Jacobs’ presence provides his team with a different dimension, with the former Wigan man bringing contrasting attributes to those available in the squad.
The Pompey boss believes his versatility and quality on the back foot allows him to use a second out-and-out attacking player up front.
Jackett added: ‘Quite often in a lot of situations we’ve used him, he’s helped us to use a second forward where a lot of our better performances have been.
‘He’s a very experienced player. We’re happy to have him back in the group and available for the run-in now.’
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