Why former Portsmouth manager and Aston Villa striker Guy Whittingham has backed ex-Wigan man Michael Jacobs to solve Blues' misfiring form

Former Pompey boss Guy Whittingham has backed Michael Jacobs for a consistent run in Danny Cowley’s starting XI.

By Sam Cox
Sunday, 23rd January 2022, 3:00 pm

The former Wigan attacker has played a bit-part role this season due to tactical deficiencies, transfer speculation, illness and injuries.

In recent weeks, Jacobs has been Cowley’s go-to man off the bench when looking to change the club’s fortunes on the pitch.

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Indeed, it has already paid dividends this term – most notably when he netted a last gasp winner against Gillingham in November.

And Whittingham believes now is the time he’s given a key role for Pompey.

He told BBC Radio Solent: ‘Jacobs is the one who looks more capable of causing more problems than anyone else.

‘He’s the one who comes on and looks like somebody who will put defenders under pressure and will deliver. He had a great run this afternoon, whereas Curtis and Harness, who have been good in the past, but are out of form at this moment in time.

Michael Jacobs (has scored three goals for Pompey this term. Picture: Nigel Keene/ProSportsImages

‘Do you take one of them out and start with Jacobs?

Marcus Harness is Pompey’s current top goalscorer with 10 – but he’s fired blanks in his last six outings in royal blue.

His last goal came in the 2-0 victory over Morecambe, which was played on the eve of the south coast club’s covid-impacted Christmas break.

And despite becoming the club’s leading 21st century goalscorer, Ronan Curtis hasn’t notched in the league since October.

And Whittingham explained how it might be time to give one of the two a rest.

He continued: ‘Curtis has had a quiet few games, yes he came on at Exeter and scored those two goals.

‘When Pompey were doing well and had that little spell, Harness was the main man in terms of creating things and scoring. Has he gone off the boil? We’ve certainly not seen the player he was at the start of that good unbeaten run. Is it time to give him a rest?

‘There were no chances created for Tyler Walker today and George Hirst did have one from the corner and that was it in terms of supplying chances to your strikers.’

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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