This is the no-nonsense message to Ronan Curtis as he gets set for Portsmouth return against Northampton after form drop

Ronan Curtis has been tasked with seizing his standing as Pompey’s talisman once again.

Tuesday, 27th October 2020, 6:00 am
Ronan Curtis. Picture: Nigel Keene/ProSportsImages

Kenny Jackett has backed the Republic of Ireland to step up on his return to the side against Northampton tonight, with Michael Jacobs facing up to six weeks on the sidelines.

Pompey fear that could be the maximum outlook for the new arrival, who’s found impressive form before limping off with a knee issue at Sunderland.

The onus will be on Curtis to fill that creative void, with the 24-year-old finding his chances limited of late after a drop in form.

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Jackett stated dropping the former Derry City man to the bench wasn’t designed to give him a kick up the backside, after nearly always starting when fit in his time at the club.

But the Pompey boss feels the platform is there now for Curtis to come in and perform at his best.

He said: ‘It is (a chance for him take).

‘Ronan played well when he came on at Sunderland and at centre forward at Gillingham.

‘He responded well there and can play either role. There’s been some coaching and adjustment, but I’m confident he can do either.

‘I’m very confident in him. If you have Ronan Curtis to come in, that’s a very good option.

‘He’s just been unlucky because I’ve been looking at different combinations and formations as well.

‘When we’ve played 4-4-2 created chances and scored goals. For him, can he fit in? Of course he can.

‘He’s had an automatic place, but he earned that. He’s done well for the club and me.

‘It’s early in the season and he will play a big part.

‘I’m not sure that was the case (he needed a kick up the backside).

‘We were playing a formation which was set up predominantly around him, and we needed to change, try different things and combinations.

‘He’s coming into the side now, but it’s not a situation where he’s coming in cold. He’s had plenty of games and is fit.

‘So he’s ready to go and he will do well again, I’m sure.’

Even with Curtis to call on Jacobs’ injury is a blow for Pompey, with the 28-year-old finding his feet and fitness in recent games.

The former Wigan man has undergone a scan which the Blues are waiting to see the results, but the outlook is expected to be a stay of between four and six weeks on the sidelines.

Jackett added: ‘He’s going to be a miss, but you always know you are going to get injuries.

‘That’s the same for us and all the other clubs as well.

‘He’s a really good player and when you go to 4-4-2 when you have Michael Jacobs and Ryan Williams in the wide areas, they know the role very well. Both on the ball and off.‘

He’s experienced and they balance it off well for us, to give us the opportunity to play two forwards.’

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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