Why Danny Cowley believes Portsmouth can reap the benefits from Ronan Curtis' international and League One absence

Danny Cowley is convinced Ronan Curtis can emerge from his enforced match absence a more effective performer.

Thursday, 14th October 2021, 4:55 am
Danny Cowley believes Ronan Curtis demonstrated against Sunderland that his Pompey form is returning. Picture: Jason Brown

The winger has been sidelined following his omission from the Republic of Ireland’s squad, while will serve a suspension for Pompey’s forthcoming trip to Rotherham.

On the flip side, that has allowed the Cowleys to devote more time to Curtis on the training ground, fine-tuning aspects of his game they feel require attention.

Pompey’s head coach has already picked up on tell-tale signs that the 25-year-old is enjoying a welcome upturn in form of late.

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And with Curtis also keen to prove a point following his international snub, Cowley believes the situation can be harnessed to heighten his Blues output.

Pompey’s boss told The News: ‘Ronan’s had his international disappointment and got suspended, but you have to try to see the positives.

‘For us, the positives are we have opportunities to work him in a different way and focus on certain aspects of his game.

‘He was excellent against Sunderland and is definitely finding some good performances which is really important for the team. The team plays better when Ronan plays well, that’s for sure.

‘There are areas of his game which we continue to work on. He now has a break from playing, but it’s a period of time where he can really work at his game.

‘Certainly he needs to add to his positional play and movement, while we must get him the quick ball because he’s an important player to us.

‘But he also has a responsibility to make sure his movement is really sharp and the timing of arrival is good, so we can get him that good ball.

‘To be fair to Ronan, he had a busy period this summer and trained with Ireland until June 10 at a camp, then started the season with us.

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‘There was also an Ireland camp at the start of September, so this has been the first time we’ve had him for a long period of time.

‘That’s good, because there’s lots to work on, like all the players.’

Curtis was not selected for Tuesday night’s Papa John’s Trophy encounter with Sutton United.

Instead Cowley opted to give his fringe players a run-out, with the Irishman watching the 2-0 Blues defeat from the South Stand.

Cowley added: ‘The great thing about Ronan is when he has disappointment he feels the need to prove people wrong.

‘He’s a discerning boy and proving people wrong can be quite a powerful motivational tool for Ronan.

‘Maybe he was disappointed not to be selected (for Ireland), but I also know he will be very motivated to prove people wrong because he has done that all his life, he’s the underdog.

‘He prides himself in that situation, it’s a situation he knows well, and one he has been very successful in in the past.’

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