Why Ronan Curtis stayed true to Portsmouth word against Bristol City amid Championship interest

Pompey recorded a 3-3 pre-season draw with Bristol City yesterday.

Wednesday, 21st July 2021, 8:00 am
Ronan Curtis tussles with Matty James during Pompey's friendly with Bristol City. Picture: Rogan Thomson/ JMP Sport

Here are the five main talking points of the game...

Cooking with Gass

He's the man almost every member of the Fratton faithful are talking about.

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And for good reason as Gassan Ahadme continues to plenty of plaudits.

During his trial from Norwich, the Moroccan has been prolific.

His hat-trick against non-league Hawks was excellent, although there were questions about whether he could do the same against a Football League outfit.

Any doubts were emphatically answered against an established Championship side in Bristol City.

Ahadme netted a first-half double, with his goals arriving via a glancing header and a penalty taken with the utmost aplomb.

It wasn't just his goals that caught the eye, though. His link-up play with John Marquis and Ronan Curtis were intelligent along with how he held the ball up.

He’s now earned a loan deal – and it couldn’t be more deserving.

Curtis true to his word

Ronan Curtis has been candid when it comes to his ambitions this season.

Sometimes wantaway players in pre-season can let standards slide, effort levels drop and look to avoid any potential injury that might scupper an exit.

However, Curtis has been true to his word when he vowed he won't down tools.

The winger played with as much vigour, energy and robustness as he has ever done while donning the star and crescent.

One sliding block to win the ball back high in City’s territory typified how he'll continue to give his all.

Curtis will likely be starting the upcoming campaign at PO4 even if he does get his desired switch later in the summer.

Yet his display bodes well if he features in those first few fixtures in terms of hit commitment.

Mason gets a run-out

The News reported before kick-off that Brandon Mason was on Pompey's list of targets and he could be involved in the game.

It took just 16 minutes for the left-back to be introduced when replacing the injured Lee Brown.

Mason's fallen out of favour at Coventry and is looking at the Blues being his next chapter in his career.

Naturally, it took a little while for the former St Mirren loanee to get into the game as a substitute.

However, he showed some glimpses of his talent - particularly one cross that was had a nice weight to it.

Even before Brown's problem, Pompey were in the market for another left-sided defender.

That could well be Mason.

Brown injury fears allayed

The reason why Mason entered the fray earlier than expected was because of the injury to Lee Brown.

Following a corner, the left-back ominously went down clutching his knee and was withdrawn early into the game.

As Brown hobbled down the touchline, there were fears he could be set for a significant period.

Not ideal, the new season is due to start in two-and-a-half weeks' time.

However, Brown quickly allayed fears of the severity of his problem after making his way into the stands, as well as Danny Cowley in his post-match interviews.

Here's to hoping he'll be fit for the League One curtain-raiser.

Injured pair edging closer

It seems that we're growing closer to seeing Gavin Bazunu don a Pompey shirt after his loan move from Manchester City.

The keeper's been sidelined with a quad injury after his arrival, ruling him out against the Hawks and Bristol City.

Yet Bazunu still travelled to Somerset despite not being involved and warmed up with Alex Bass.

Michael Jacobs was also out to do some exercises with his team-mates before kick-off.

He warmed up with the side that began the encounter before also taking his place on the sidelines.

With Cowley seeking more quality and quantity ahead of the opening day of the campaign at Fleetwood, he’ll be desperate to get the pair fit.