Portsmouth boss Kenny Jackett has claimed Lee Brown’s experience was a decisive factor in him selecting the left-back ahead of Brandon Haunstrup during the clash with Doncaster last weekend.
Pompey secured a 2-1 victory over Darren Moore’s side courtesy of Ellis Harrison’s stoppage-time winner, with the result securing a second straight win for the South Coast side as they climbed to 16th in the League One table.
Jackett named Brown in the Portsmouth starting line-up for the first time since August as the 29-year-old made his return from an achilles injury, but this meant Haunstrup was forced to settle for a place on the bench following his stint in the side.
Brown’s injury had paved the way for Haunstrup to impress in the left-back slot during the previous six weeks, with the 22-year-old producing a series of strong displays during his first extended run in the side since the 2017/18 season.
However, Jackett opted to deploy Brown in the left-sided role at the Keepmoat Stadium, with the Pompey boss identifying the experience of the Bristol Rovers man as the main reason behind his immediate return to the side.
“I wanted to get as much experience at the back as we could, clean sheets if possible, and we feel Lee brings a lot of that,” he told the Portsmouth News.
“It’s unlucky for Brandon, he hasn’t done a lot wrong, but in terms of Lee and his personality and experience, that was my selection on Saturday.”
Jackett went on to praise Haunstrup for his recent performances in the side and then affirmed he is pleased with both left-back options as Pompey now look to build on their back-to-back victories.
“Brandon has done well, he is a good player and a good left-back, it was a difficult decision to choose between the pair on Saturday,” Jackett added.
“Lee just got the nod on experience and has brought quite a lot to us. It was quite a close call – I am happy with both of them.”
Haunstrup can definitely consider himself unfortunate to not have nailed down his place in the side following an impressive run of performances, but it is clear that Jackett is a fan of using Brown at left-back whenever possible.
The 29-year-old offered a solid presence on the left flank throughout Pompey’s promotion push last term, and this has perhaps earned the right to make an immediate return to the side after his injury lay-off.
He also links up well with Ronan Curtis on the left flank and this is likely to be another key factor in Jackett’s decision, as Brown’s presence in the side often means Pompey have a stronger attacking threat down the left flank.
This means Brown is likely to maintain his place in the side following the Doncaster win, and it will be interesting to see how long Haunstrup is willing to fight for his place back before he decides to push for a move away from the club.