Jack Ross on his left-back selection dilemma and how new signing will affect Denver Hume
Jack Ross insists that Denver Hume remains very much part of his first-team plans, and will do so even as a new left-back arrives.
Ross is keen to strengthen his options in that part of the pitch, with Conor McLaughlin standing in for the last three games on his weaker side.
But Ross brought Hume on for the closing moments of the Portsmouth win, and said that was a sign of his trust in the youngster.
He is looking to bring in an experienced alternative before the window shuts on September 2nd, but remains convinced that Hume will get opportunities to impress.
“When I was looking at my squad at the start of the season, I didn’t view him just as back-up,” Ross said.
“I wanted him to compete to play and that’s why he got the opportunity early in the season.
“He’s just like any other player, if you’re playing well you keep hold of the jersey. When you don’t, you run the risk of someone else taking that chance.
“Strangely enough, I know he got criticism post-Oxford but it was just his delivery that day that was poor. I don’t think his all-round play was poor, he got himself in good areas, it was just the bit of the game he normally excels in. Ipswich was a difficult afternoon but that was the case for a lot of players.
“I said to him that he would have plenty of those in his career, it was just about responding to it and he got himself on the pitch against Portsmouth.
“He’s just got to keep showing that he should be playing.”
Ross is looking to make two defensive additions and believes that will also aid McLaughlin.
“I’ve said it openly in judging Conor fairly, he’s still played a part recently in winning games,” he said.
“He’s a good footballer, conscientious in how he goes about his job, it’s just not easy playing on your wrong side, especially when you’ve got a right-footed centre-back playing alongside you.
“That’s not ideal and I know that.
“Filling that position will help us and it’ll help Conor, because it’s not ideal coming into a new club and playing out of position.”