Departing Portsmouth defender Brandon Haunstrop has lashed out at Kenny Jackett as he departs the club for SPFL side Kilmarnock, as reported by the Portsmouth News.
The 23-year-old came through Portsmouth’s youth academy before making his first-team debut in 2015. Last season, as Portsmouth again failed in their quest for promotion, he featured 19 times. However, the left-back has started just 23 league matches in total for Pompey and admitted he had to leave for the good of his career.
“For the sake of my career, I had to leave. If I want to have a successful career and play games – this is what I had to do,” said the home-grown talent.
“Looking back, 57 appearances, with 32 in the league, is not good enough. I want to play a lot more than that – and knew I’d have to leave to do it. I’ve spoken to the manager (Jackett) quite a lot about it over the last year. I remember a spell of seven games early in the season when Brownie was injured. I thought I did pretty well.”
That spell could have been the in he needed to kick on and achieve his goals with Pompey, but he reveals he was swiftly cast aside with no explanation.
“As soon as he was fit, the gaffer said “I’m going with Brownie this weekend at Doncaster”. There was no real explanation. I’m thinking “What have I done wrong?”.
“It meant when I next got a little run, in my mind if I made one mistake then I was coming out of the team. There was no real confidence that I would play a few matches in a row because I’d still be left out after a few good games. It was demoralising.”
Having missed out on the last 14 Portsmouth squads, Haunstrop decided to swap the south coast for Scotland, penning a two-year deal at Rugby Park.
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It wasn’t so long ago Kilmarnock were in Europe, so on the face of it this move could be a good one. Whilst Scotland isn’t considered the football hotbed it once was, it is a great division for players to get plenty of varied senior action, from the big stages such as Celtic Park to the 6,5000 capacity Victoria Park of Ross County.
At 23, Haunstrop needs to be playing first-team football and therefore he’s surely done the right thing. The big question is how long Kenny Jackett can cling on at Pompey. He’s failed two years in a row to get promoted and some of his selections have been odd, including leaving Tom Naylor out of the unsuccessful play-off campaign.