Kenny Jackett is convinced summer signing James Bolton can be a huge hit for Pompey, despite his tough start to life at Fratton Park.
He picked up an injury against his former club in the opening fixture of the season and hasn’t been fit to play since. Pompey have enured a tough start to the season and are currently 17th with just five points from their five opening matches.
Having conceded seven goals in those fixtures, Jackett is sure his new man can make up for lost time on his return to action, starting with this evening’s EFL Trophy clash with Crawley.
“Tonight is a really good chance for James to play and get towards his best form, which we know he can produce,” said Jackett.
“It was quite a bad tackle at Shrewsbury, just in front of me, and he rolled his ankle as well. It’s taken him quite a while to get up to full speed. He has definitely been out longer than expected.”
Despite the setback, the former Wolves boss is confident Bolton’s ability to become one of the best full-backs in the division.
“Now he has a couple of games approaching and some time before our next league game to get into the rhythm which we brought him here for.”
Tonight is the opening fixture of the tournament for Portsmouth as they look to defend the trophy they lifted in April against Sunderland.
This is what the EFL Trophy is great for; it gives players match practice they wouldn’t ordinarily get. Some managers don’t understand the value of the competition, but Pompey do.
They won it, they know it has it’s worth and tonight James Bolton will see that too.
He has lots of ability and should command a starting place when he’s fit, but he’s been desperately unlucky with injuries. He can ease himself into action this evening, with a first-team spot the aim in league action.