Returning duo challenged to impact Portsmouth’s League One promotion bid
Kenny Jackett has challenged Andy Cannon and Bryn Morris to impact Pompey’s League One promotion push when they return.
The midfield duo have both been hampered by injury since completing January moves to Fratton Park.
Cannon arrived from Rochdale for £150,000, signing a two-and-a-half year deal.
But he’s been restricted to just two appearances and has been sidelined with a quad injury since the 2-1 defeat at Oxford United on January 19.
Morris, meanwhile, moved to the Blues from Shrewsbury for an undisclosed fee.
He’s featured five times but has been absent since the goalless draw with Barnsley on February 23, with a groin problem confining him to the treatment table.
Both are closing in on full fitness, though, and will increase Jackett’s options during the business end of the campaign.
With the Blues still firmly in the top-two race, the boss wants as many options available to increase his side’s chances of reaching the Championship.
And although Jackett has been frustrated the pair haven’t been available, he believes they claim starting berths in his side.
The Pompey boss said: ‘They both can (make an impact).
‘When they get back they’ve got to push, work hard in training, work hard in any reserves games and when their chance comes then be able to take it.
‘I definitely do (think Cannon can become a regular starter).
‘When he is fit he’ll compete for that attacking-midfield role in the No10.
‘I do see him as an attacking-midfield player who can compete for the No10 positon.
‘Bryn has had more game-time and more opportunities.
‘But they’re frustrating injuries for them and frustrating injuries for us.’
Cannon will battle the likes of Gareth Evans and Brett Pitman for the No10 role in Jackett’s starting line-up.
Morris has Tom Naylor, Ben Close and Dion Donohue to leapfrog in the central midfield pecking order.
And the Blues manager feels the added competition will bring the best out of his entire squad.
Jackett added: ‘It’s that type of competition you need if you’re going to be at the top end of a league.
‘People need driving on.
‘As much as speaking to players individually and your own individual motivation, there’s nothing like competition for places which brings out the best of people.’