Confident Curtis aiming to drive Pompey up the League One table

RONAN CURTIS has admitted being dropped by Kenny Jackett took its toll on his confidence, but he believes he has come back ‘bigger and stronger’ from his spell on the sidelines.

The Republic of Ireland international endured a difficult start to the campaign but is now approaching the form that brought him 12 goals in all competitions last season. He has two goals in his last four appearances, including a stunning winner in the FA Cup game at Harrogate Town.

Curtis has pinpointed a hamstring issue at the beginning of October as part of the problem, but he feels he can be key to driving Pompey back up the table.

“I thought I’d done my hamstring in training during the week building up to Doncaster but I had a scan and it came back all clear,” said Curtis, who is expected to start the game at Rochdale on Saturday.

“Then it was three games I was dropped out of the team for, but it made me come back stronger. I was fighting for my position and the lads will all tell you you’re always fighting for your position.

“If you're not at the top of your form, the gaffer will drop you and he will tell you why. For me, it was a confidence thing when I didn’t hit the back of the net or didn’t play well.

“I will be the first one to tell you my form wasn’t the greatest at the start of the season but hopefully it is getting there now in the past four or five games. Having a couple of weeks out didn’t do me the worst of harm because I’ve come back bigger and stronger.”

Curtis also feels the side is heading in the right direction and more than capable of putting a run together that will see them challenging at the top of the division.

Jackett’s men are unbeaten in their last five games in all competitions with three wins, and Curtis is in no doubt the Pompey fans will see the best of the team in the very near future.

“The lads are buzzing and we can’t wait to play now. We want to get those three points to keep sending us up the table. We’ve been battering some teams and not scoring goals.

“But we’ve been showing what we can do in training and the boys are all working hard to continue our recent form. If we can win our games in hand and go on a little run, then we can find ourselves high up the league.”

• Tickets for the FA Cup second round clash with Altrincham at Fratton Park are still available. The game is on Saturday, November 30 (3pm) and you can visit the club’s eticketing site, go to the Anson Road ticket office, or call on 0345 646 1898. Pompey’s second round game in the EFL/ Trophy against League Two side Northampton Town is on Tuesday December 3.