'We've had to protect him': Boss on how Portsmouth are getting the best out of popular ex-Carlisle man

The January signing has scored one goal in 11 appearances for the Blues
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John Mousinho admits Pompey have needed to ‘protect’ Owen Moxon as he adjusts to life on the south coast.

Yet he remains delighted with the impressive impact of the Derby goal hero who is rapidly establishing himself as a Fratton favourite.

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The 26-year-old moved from Carlisle for an undisclosed fee late in the transfer window, having never lived away from his hometown.

Owen Moxon's Pompey impact has been praised by John Mousinho. Picture: Jason Brown/ProSportsImagesOwen Moxon's Pompey impact has been praised by John Mousinho. Picture: Jason Brown/ProSportsImages
Owen Moxon's Pompey impact has been praised by John Mousinho. Picture: Jason Brown/ProSportsImages

Nonetheless, the Blues have been delighted with how Moxon has settled in, particularly with injuries decimating the centre of the midfield.

And Mousinho believes five starts in Pompey’s last eight matches reflects their approach to bedding in the former Queen Of The South man as he strives to shine.

Mousinho told The News: ‘I actually think Carlisle have been really unlucky this season and very, very close to picking up more points. We had two tough games against them.

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‘However, it was a big adjustment for Owen, even geographically, relocating down here. He’s trying to learn a different system, yet has done brilliantly well and been involved in some crucial moments.

‘Whenever we sign players, the plan is to use them as much as they deserve to be used and obviously the injury to Tom Lowery opened the door for Owen to come in and have that impact.

‘He has a huge amount of energy, is always brave in terms of the way he wants to go and get the ball, out of possession he closes down, wins tackles, wins headers. The amount of pressing he did against Peterborough was actually off the scale.

‘Certain games suit him really well, it’s been pick and chose, making sure we manage that as best as possible. A lot of that is about protecting Owen.

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‘Adjusting from Carlisle to here is very, very different in terms of the football clubs, the geography, the way the two sides play. There’s nothing derogatory about it at all, that’s just the way it is.

‘He was absolutely superb against Peterborough, but was booked and we had the option to bring Lee (Evans) on. I didn’t want to have too many players on bookings at the same time, so it seemed like a sensible decision.

‘Overall, I’ve been massively impressed with Owen’s contribution. Ever since he’s come in, he has been in good form, part of some of those big wins, and I’m really, really happy he’s had such a big impact.’

Moxon’s sweet 77th-minute strike against Derby after coming off the bench represented his first Pompey goal in 11 appearances.

And Mousinho believes there is plenty more to come.

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He added: ‘Owen has really improved his ball handling. The next stage is to make sure that, when we get the ball higher up the pitch, he’s a bit more of a goal threat.

‘We saw that at Derby and we also need a few more from assists. He has a huge amount of quality from set-pieces and crosses and, once he puts all those bits of his game together, then we’ll see a really good player.’

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