Why Portsmouth's Ronan Curtis needs to look at himself as he misses Saturday's clash with Rotherham through needless suspension
Ronan Curtis sits out Pompey's trip to Rotherham on Saturday to serve a one-match ban after accumulating five bookings.
His absence will come as a blow to the Blues' bid to build momentum after their heroics against Sunderland, while Danny Cowley's switch in formation appeared to allow the Irishman to rediscover some of his best form.
Many have pinpointed Curtis' on-the-field temperament as the reason why he has become the first member of the Pompey team to serve a suspension this term.
Indeed, we've all seen for ourselves they way he conducts himself, with his heart sometimes overruling his head and his undisputed passion often tipping boiling point.
Yet as Pompey fans, that's something we like to see in our players as they often battle against the odds.
Yet is criticism on Curtis' character justified?
Is it the result of his ban or can he feel hard done by some overzealous referring decisions?
We've taken a look at his five booking this season to find out...
Curtis’ first caution arrived on the opening day of the season against Fleetwood Town.
With Pompey on the receiving end of a barrage of Cod Army attacks, the 25-year-old brought down former Liverpool midfielder Jordan Rossiter.
The winger showed expert game management in doing so as he was arguably trying to alleviate the hosts’ pressure.
Curtis’ act paid dividends as Pompey walked away from Highbury with a 1-0 win and three precious points.
Only 10 days passed until Curtis picked up his next booking for another hard challenge – this time on Shrewsbury’s Elliot Bennett.
Being booked as early as 20 minutes into any fixture isn’t exactly helpful, as it leaves those involved walking on the disciplinary tightrope for a prolonged period.
Luckily for Pompey, Curtis stayed on the pitch as they edged past the Shrews.
After a bit-part spell in Cowley’s starting XI, Curtis played the entirety of the defeat to Cambridge – but received an inexcusable caution in injury-time.
Perhaps the frustration of losing at Fratton Park had sent him to boiling point as a foolish act of dissent towards the referee saw him pick up his third yellow of the season.
As the Blues looked to bounce back from their U’s disappointment, Curtis showed the passion and fight required to play for Pompey by committing to a 50/50 challenge against Plymouth.
Despite the referee giving a foul to the Pilgrims, handbags ensued which ignited the Fratton faithful to ramp up the already rocking atmosphere.
Curtis was unfortunate to be cautioned in the melee, as he was the only player to be booked after the situation calmed down.
Curtis, however, should have known better when he received his detrimental fifth booking a few weeks later.
Pompey were cruising to a 4-0 victory over Sunderland when the Republic of Ireland international was booked in injury-time.
With the knowledge that his next caution would see him banned, he should’ve been smarter than to bring down an opponent, especially with game already won at half-time.
Cowley now has a big decision to make in terms of selecting his replacement for Saturday, as the Blues look to record back-to-back league victories for the first time since August.
In conclusion, Curtis may need to re-evaluate the way in which he harnesses his energy on the field.
Pompey fans are well aware that he plays with his heart on his sleeve, but more often than not, it puts him and his team-mates in difficult positions.
The Blues will have certainly needed him on Saturday if they're to get a positive result, but his temperament has let them down on this occasion.
The needless trip on the Sunderland player deep into stoppage-time only reflects how he may need to alter this, as the majority of his cautions were unnecessary.
And when an attacking player receives five yellow cards before mid-October, questions need to be raised.