Rejuvenated Andy Cannon earmarked for Portsmouth number 10 challenge

Pompey are weighing up priming Andy Cannon for a number 10 role.

Wednesday, 17th July 2019, 1:44 pm
Andy Cannon jostles for possession during Tuesday night's 2-1 victory at Bognor. Picture: Tommy McMillan

The January recruit is finally free from the injury issues which dogged him last term, re-emerging impressively during pre-season.

He completed 90 minutes against the Rocks on Tuesday evening, an outing which consisted of featuring behind Brett Pitman as a number 10.

Cannon and Louis Dennis have so far been Kenny Jackett’s preferred choices in the position during this summer’s opening three friendlies.

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In the case of the Rochdale arrival, Joe Gallen admits the Blues are still working out his most effective role.

However, Pompey’s assistant boss admits Cannon is establishing himself as a contender for the position last season occupied by Gareth Evans and Pitman.

Gallen said: ‘With Andy, we are working him out a little bit.

‘Potentially he can be a number 10 and came on at Havant in that position.

‘He also played at 10 against Bognor, but we changed him to a number eight during the game to try to stem the tide.

‘We had to move him around because the team was getting younger and we needed to become more solid. He’s an experienced player and we had to move him around a little bit.

‘There is a degree of flexibility with Andy because he can play a lot of positions, I do think somewhere attacking through the middle of the pitch is going to be his best.

‘He has a lot of attacking threat, he can shoot, and we’d like to get him into attacking areas, while working him out and how he fits in.

‘I do think his best position is if we played someone in front of the back four and then two number eights, with him either on the right or left-hand side. With a Tom Naylor behind him, he has a little more freedom to attack.

‘That’s his way, that’s his instinct, that’s what his forte is.

‘But there’s competition for places, there are other good players as well.’

Cannon has played just 102 minutes of first-team football since his Fratton Park arrival.

Now Gallen is looking forward to seeing him in action more regularly.

He added: ‘We were disappointed last season when Andy got injured at Oxford United – and then had a re-injury which put pay to his season.

‘He has played very well in League One previously for Rochdale and come to this club having played a lot of games, he’s a reasonably experienced footballer.

‘You could see against Bognor that he has a lot of attacking ability, a lot of talent, is energetic, good on the ball, runs with it and can shoot from the edge of the box.’