On-loan Tottenham man Anton Walkes will be forced to sit out the play-off six-pointer against Plymouth on Saturday. It isn’t too much to call it that, is it? He’ll miss Bradford next week too.
Yes, this is a disappointment as Walkes has done well enough since coming to Pompey, but it is what it is. Therefore we know this will mean Kenny Jackett is forced to make at least one change Home Park.
However, which hasn’t always been the case this season; we will have options, as was pointed out by Joe Gallen. Given the fact Walkes has been playing in midfield recently we could bring back the fit again Stuart O’Keefe for example.
Gallen told portsmouthfc.co.uk: ‘Stuart O’Keefe’s back and as soon as he came on at Rochdale, it seemed to have a galvanising effect on the team and crowd.’
There’s also the potential of bringing Connor Ronan back into the fold or switching Dion Donohue from full back into a midfield role?
‘Connor Ronan’s done nothing wrong during his time with us, while Dion Donohue could move into that position as well,’ added the assistant manager.
I like Ronan, who I think has been a little unlucky to find himself out of the team of late. But, let’s face it, a team that’s building up form and momentum isn’t going to be changed unnecessarily. Yes, as said, I like the on-loan Wolves midfielder, but I think his return to the side could be seen as a little too attack minded so Jackett isn’t going to recall him I wouldn’t think?
Brandon Haunstrup, who was excellent against Wigan, was unlucky to lose his place at left back to Donohue for the trip to Rochdale. Haunstrup can easily come back in with Jackett pushing Donohue back into a midfield role?
Personally though, as O’Keefe has the experience and ability, I reckon the manager will bring the Cardiff loanee into the middle of the park to add his qualities and bring a little more steel to midfield.
Certainly something for Jackett to ponder, but as Gallen points out we do have options. Whoever does come in will be desperate to make an impact and help the Blues in this crucial game in Devon.
PLAY UP POMPEY
2017-18 Prediction League – April
Plymouth (a) Saturday 14th April 2018 – click here.
Bradford (a) Tuesday 17th April 2018 – click here.
Charlton (h) Saturday 21st April 2018 – click here.
Bury (a) Saturday 28th April 2018 – click here.