What next for Reeco Hackett-Fairchild at Portsmouth after disappointment of Southend loan chance?

Danny Cowley’s view of Reeco Hackett-Fairchild has been restricted, limited to word of mouth and video clips.

Wednesday, 5th May 2021, 6:00 am
Reeco Hackett-Fairchild celebrates scoring on his Southend debut - yet it would be his only goal in 24 appearances for the League Two club. Picture: Jacques Feeney/Getty Images

With the 23-year-old on loan at Southend the head coach has yet to cross paths with this member of the Pompey squad he inherited in March.

A case of out of sight rather than out of mind, nonetheless Hackett-Fairchild’s Fratton Park future isn’t clear.

Certainly his time at Roots Hall has done little to boost his challenge for a Pompey first-team spot.

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It started well enough for the ex-Bromley winger, netting a stunning matchwinner on his Southend debut against Barrow in January.

The left footer never scored for the Shrimpers again, nor claimed an assist, as they tumbled out of the Football League.

Hackett-Fairchild would make his Football League debut at the League Two club, going on to total 24 appearances as he enjoyed precious first-team experience.

Aside from missing one match through injury, during that time he appeared in every Southend fixture, starting all but three of them.

Operating across the front three, although mainly on the flanks, the team scored just 14 goals during his loan presence.

Having joined a club embroiled in a relegation fight since the season’s start, the circumstances were not ideal for the former non-league performer to shine in.

Southend were largely perceived as a team doomed to finish at the foot of League Two, with Hackett-Fairchild challenged to hopefully lift them clear. It was a tough ask.

By all accounts, following a bright start, the Pompey man’s form dipped towards the end of his time there as the club plummeted towards relegation.

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There were also concerns over his capability to adapt physically to League Two football as he learnt on the job in a poor side.

Yet Hackett-Fairchild remained a regular, even when Phil Brown was appointed as manager in a last desperate attempt to keep Southend up.

Hackett-Fairchild started that match alongside former Pompey players Greg Halford and Ricky Holmes, before coming off in the 65th minute.

His final outing is scheduled to be a home match with Newport County on Saturday, before returning to Fratton Park.

However, the 23-year-old cannot be considered for the League One play-offs, should Pompey qualify for the semi-finals.

Instead he will have to wait until next season to push for a first-team place with the Blues.

And perhaps Cowley will still be around to judge the attacker in the flesh, rather than word of mouth and video clips.

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