Kenny Jackett insists Portsmouth midfield trio can still impact League One promotion push finale
KENNY JACKETT insists his midfield trio on the comeback trail are capable of impacting the League One promotion push finale.
Andy Cannon, Bryn Morris and Dion Donohue spent a period on the treatment table together but have all edged closer to full fitness.
Cannon has come through a pair of reserve games unscathed following a quad setback he picked up in January, although he’s yet to be included in a match-day squad since.
Morris, meanwhile, has made two substitute appearances following a groin problem – most recently coming on in the 2-1 win at Burton on Easter Friday.
The Blues are also hopeful Dion Donohue will be available for the crunch trip to Sunderland on Saturday. The Welshman has been sidelined for a month with a groin complaint.
Tom Naylor and Ben Close have been Jackett’s central-midfield pairing for the past 12 matches, playing a key role as the Blues moved within two points of the automatic promotion places.
But the boss admits he’s lacked options from the bench and feels Morris, Cannon and Donohue can all play their part in the remaining three fixtures.
Jackett said: ‘We want everyone back, fit, available and be able to select from what is a good squad.
‘They can still have an impact, definitely. At times, we have lacked options in midfield.
‘We have been okay but there’s been quite a long spell with Cannon, Donohue and Morris all out.
‘In terms of midfielders, there have been times when tactically from the bench we haven’t had enough out-and-out midfielders.
‘It gives us options and in games to come you want as many midfield players fit and available as possible.
‘Those three coming back will help us in that area, definitely.
‘They’re different types. Andy Cannon is the most attacking and Bryn Morris has a little bit of everything looking at his game so far.
‘Donohue is left-footed and can balance it off. Those three being available does help us.’
Cannon hasn’t featured for Pompey since the 2-1 loss at Oxford United on January 19.
A £150,000 recruit from Rochdale, Jackett regards the 23-year-old as an attacking midfield, but is also a right-back option.
‘Andy Cannon is an option for us at right-back as well,’ the manager added.
‘He played mainly in midfield for Rochdale but at right-back a little bit. It’s an option for us in terms of an attacking right-back.’