Portsmouth manager Kenny Jackett has stated that defender Paul Downing will get a fresh start once League One football returns.
The 28-year-old hasn’t played for the club in the league since a 2-2 draw with Burton Albion back in September and has found it difficult to creep up the pecking order in the Pompey squad.
The former Blackburn Rovers man didn’t have the best of starts to his time on the south coast and was dropped as Jackett opted for Christian Burgess and Sean Raggett as his defensive pair.
Downing has been included in one of Portsmouth’s last 16 squads, but Jackett has talked up the opportunity of the defender earning a fresh start after his impressive running times during this current period.
Speaking to The Portsmouth News, Jackett said: “The (running) times he’s doing are good at the moment so – as and when the football starts – it will be like a fresh season for him.
“For the likes of Paul and Bryn Morris, they’ll be fit and hungry – and hopefully ready to capitalise on the new opportunity they’re going to get.”
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Downing signed from Blackburn, and at the time it looked a solid addition to the Portsmouth backline but it hasn’t quite worked out as of yet and it appears that the manager has his favourites for those specific positions.
Things could all change though, but a lot could rest on whether Pompey are promoted to the Championship, if they are it would be unlikely that the player would be able to forge himself into the first-team if he is struggling to do so in League One.
It’s good to see the player is still striving to improve, and if there is a future for him at the club, then he has shown that hard work can pay off.