'Play Burgess at centre-back... more square pegs in round holes' - Portsmouth fans react to Kenny Jackett's plans for Oli Hawkins

Pompey fans have been having their say on Kenny Jackett’s decision to focus Oli Hawkins' efforts on playing as a centre-back.

Thursday, 19th September 2019, 1:00 pm
Oli Hawkins Picture: Joe Pepler

Signed as a striker from Dagenham & Redbridge in August 2017, the Blues manager wants the 26-year-old to concentrate on a defensive role as he seeks to bolster his options at the back.

Hawkins, who has scored 18 goals in 84 Pompey appearances, was handed a first start of an injury-hampered campaign during the EFL Trophy visit of Norwich under-21s on Saturday.

Asked to partner Sean Raggett in the centre of defence, it was the culmination of two weeks of training ground work focused on re-introducing him to the role.

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Oli Hawkins Picture: Joe Pepler

Where the player’s best position is has been the subject of much debate, with him filling in as a makeshift centre-half on many occasions.

But with Pompey struggling at the back this term, doubts have been raised whether Hawkins in the answer.

Here’s a selection of what fans have been posting on our facebook page Portsmouth FC – The News and on portsmouth.co.uk...

Barrie Jenkins: More square pegs but it just highlights KJ and the flaws in his recruitment. But one question that nobody seems to ask is why so many players are off colour at once, you can expect one or two not quite up to speed but so many?

The common denominator is KJ. It’s his brand of football, no passion, inability to get them playing, at the moment he can’t stir a mug of tea.

Chris Pallister: I agree with Jackett, Raggett and Downing have been disappointing. So has Walkes. This makes sense to me.

Cath Absolom: CB = Christian Burgess at Centre Back!

Surely it's not too difficult to work that out, as he's actually telling you himself!.

Or do they need an extra label on the back of their shirt, so they all know where they're meant to be playing every week!. As it's getting bloody ridiculous now!

Ian Nisbeck: He (Hawkins) can do a job as an emergency defender.

He shouldn’t be asked to do it if an actual defender is available.

We saw on Tuesday the effect of crow barring square pegs into round holes.

Bolton should be RB with Burgess and Bolton CB and Naylor in midfield.

Darryl Harnden: Or just don’t play a centre back at right-back, whilst you are at it let’s try 442, watching Marquis with no support is painful, I feel sorry for him!

Paul Tweedale: 100-per-cent agree you can’t play square pegs in round holes at this level.

We seem to buy the right players for the right positions and try turning them in to something they are not. Fuming Kenny!! Up the blues.

Max Williams: Or just play Burgess where he’s meant to be at CB? We have 2 fit right backs to pick from.

Warren Hope: He’s not a centre-back he’s a centre forward.

Richard Odare: What is Jackett doing to Pompey? Players out of position and those brought in not good enough, with only 1 league win so far.

This is not good enough and if we lose against Wycombe and on Tuesday, he will have to clear his desk. I don't like being negative, but he is surely heading for the door if things don't change.

Ken Colmer: That says to me that Kenny is admitting the players he brought in to solve this problem are not up to it.

The best centre half we have is Burgess and for some obscure reason we are playing him at right-back, this is also admitting the players he brought in for that position are not up to it either.