The unusual circumstances which preceded Republic of Ireland international shining up front in Portsmouth win over Rochdale

Ronan Curtis has been saluted after his crash course in leading the Pompey line.

Saturday, 3rd April 2021, 12:30 pm

Danny Cowley revealed he had just a single day to impress his demands of what he required from Curtis as a front man, as he solved the Blues’ attacking crisis against Rochdale.

The 25-year-old grabbed an excellent goal and produced a man-of-the-match performance, after Pompey were shorn of all their out-and-out strikers.

Cowley praised how Curtis was able to take on board what they required, after returning from Republic of Ireland international duty.

Sign up to our Portsmouth FC newsletter

He said: ‘Ronan did great in the number nine role.

‘It’s such a specialised position, along with the goalkeeper it’s the most specialised position on the pitch.

‘We only had one day with him.

Ronan Curtis celebrates against Rochdale

‘It was one session with him. He did good work, but there was a learning hit with him indoors as well.

‘We trained in the morning and had a good learning hit with him in the afternoon. It was great and he was so open-minded to it all.

‘We were careful with what we gave him (to take on board). We gave him three things we wanted him to do, and he did them brilliantly well.

‘It’s a specialised position, that’s why strikers earn the big bucks!

‘So it’s great that Ronan is so versatile - and so willing.’

Curtis has made it clear playing as a striker is something he’s more than happy to do, and he has experience of the position from his time in Ireland.

But Cowley explained what he asked him to do was new to the winger.

He added: ‘It’s not natural for him to play up there on his own. He’s played there in a two, but not up there on his own.

‘I thought he did great, I thought he was selfless and his combination and link play was good.

‘I thought he carried goal threat and showed really good movement at the top end of the pitch.

‘I’m well pleased for him and I’m well pleased for us.’

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

The News has launched a subscription offer which gives you unlimited access to all of our Pompey coverage, starting at less than 14p a day.

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