Confident Pompey boss turns to Harness to fill Williams' absence

KENNY JACKETT will send his side into the game at MK Dons on Sunday in buoyant mood after back-to-back wins against the top two in League One.

Portsmouth are now just three points off second spot after picking up 16 points out of the last 21 – the 4-1 defeat at Accrington earlier this month now just a blip on a run of form that has banished the memories of a difficult start to the campaign.

However, as Jackett has marshalled his Pompey side to claim wins against both Ipswich Town and Wycombe Wanderers without conceding, he has also seen his injury list grow.

Ryan Williams is the latest to join Ross McCrorie, Lee Brown and Brandon Haunstrup on the treatment table after picking up a groin injury in the win over league leaders Wycombe on Boxing Day.

Despite the disappointment of losing the Australia international, a confident Jackett confirmed that Marcus Harness will come into the side for Sunday’s game which could see Pompey break into the play-off places for the first time this season.

“Ryan’s picked up a very frustrating groin injury, but Marcus Harness is a strong player and will come into the side,” said Jackett.

“I was pleased with him when he came on against Wycombe because he did well and has to turn on his best form, which can win matches.”

On his casualty list Jackett added: “It’s the second time that Ross McCrorie has injured that hamstring and we can forget about him until mid-January.

“He’s a very good player – as I’ve said on many previous occasions – and it just hasn’t fallen for him here yet. We’ll persevere with him and he’ll keep going.

“It’s also going to be a number of weeks until we have either Lee Brown or Brandon Haunstrup back to help us.”