Whatmough: Pompey have needed a player like Curtis

Ronan Curtis caught the eye at Stevenage
Ronan Curtis caught the eye at Stevenage
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With his direct running and willingness to attack the left flank, Ronan Curtis was Pompey’s outstanding performer at the Lamex Stadium.

And new team-mate Jack Whatmough has been mightily impressed since the forward arrived at Fratton Park.

In his third friendly outing for the Blues, Saturday saw Curtis turn in his most eye-catching display yet, irrespective of a 3-2 defeat to Stevenage.

Kenny Jackett’s men took the lead through Gareth Evans, yet were wasteful in front of goal and made to pay for their profligacy against the League Two side.

Curtis remained a constant threat and his cross from the left for Conor Chaplin in the 89th minute managed to reduce the deficit, without affecting the outcome.

And it was an assist the Republic of Ireland under-21 international thoroughly deserved.

Whatmough said: ‘Ronan’s a very good footballer, there is no denying that.

‘He’s direct, which is nice to see from a winger, you want a winger on your team getting at people and that is what you does.

‘He’s a really nice lad as well, a confident boy, which you need to be.

‘He reminds me a little bit of Ben Tollitt when he came, he’s got that direct approach with a bit of flair, although has a lot more about him than Ben did.

‘Ronan is so direct and it’s difficult for defenders to deal with. He always wants to get on the ball and create something.

‘That’s what he can do and that is what the gaffer saw in him to bring him to Pompey.

‘He has gelled in well with the boys and is looking a big threat on the left-hand side, which is good.’

Pompey failed to pinpoint a regular presence on the left of the attacking three in Jackett’s maiden season.

Kyle Bennett, Matty Kennedy, Kal Naismith, Jamal Lowe and Connor Ronan also served in the role last term.

Now the Blues are hoping the former Derry City player can add the creativity and effectiveness they have been striving for.

Whatmough added: ‘Not that we struggled there last year, but that’s probably somewhere we didn’t have anyone whose name was first on the team sheet.

‘But Ronan has come in – and you can tell straight away he wants to make that his spot so good luck to him starting against Luton.’