Ronan Curtis’ starting spot at Doncaster could hinge on Lee Brown’s fitness.
That’s the verdict of sports writer Will Rooney, speaking on the latest edition of Pompey Talk.
Curtis has started the season out of form and was on the end of fan flak during the Blues’ 1-0 victory over Bolton last weekend.
The Irishman’s substitution for Gareth Evans was greeted by sarcastic cheers from large contingents of Fratton Park before he took aim at fans on Twitter after the final whistle – but removed the post.
Rooney believes Curtis’ endeavour and work-rate could prove crucial against Donny, even though he has been out of sorts going forward.
Speaking to Pompey Talk, he said: ‘If it was a home game, you’d have to take that little bit of pressure off Curtis and take him out the team.
‘But because he gives you so much endeavour and work-rate, perhaps going away to Doncaster you need to get things right first and foremost defensively.
‘Curtis definitely gives that and the deciding factor could be if Brown is fit to play.
‘They have a decent partnership. Lee Brown said they clicked instantly and they understand each other’s game.
‘Because Brown is a bit more experienced at the back than Brandon Haunstrup, that’s what he could give Pompey.
‘You’ve got Curtis, Ryan Williams and Gareth Evans also comes into it because he’s got the energy, work-rate and can put a cross in with his left foot.’
If Brown features, it’d mean Brandon Haunstrup would be dropped after seven successive appearances.
And Rooney would have plenty of sympathy for the Waterlooville ace.
He added: ‘If Haunstrup is dropped, you can’t help but feel sorry for the lad.
‘He only made 12 appearances last season and wanted to get out on loan in the summer.
‘He wasn’t allowed because he’s such a good and reliable deputy. He’s almost a victim of how good he is.’
Watch the rest of Pompey Talk on the video above.