Pompey loan talent tipped to be ‘nuisance’ in League One

Scott Allan, left, in action against Sheffield United
Scott Allan, left, in action against Sheffield United

Michael Appleton will grant Scott Allan the freedom to rip up League One.

The talismanic midfielder is back for a second spell at Fratton Park having rejoined on an initial one-month loan.

Allan has been ruled out of Saturday’s FA Cup clash with Notts County by parent club West Brom.

However, he did face Sheffield United in the league on Monday – turning in a mercurial display in a role behind lone striker Izale McLeod.

It was an outstanding show from the 20-year-old – reminding Pompey fans of the attacking capabilities of the talent, who made 15 appearances last season.

A month’s loan at MK Dons recently yielded a disappointing two starts for Allan.

Now he is back with Pompey – and Appleton believes he knows how to bring the best out of him.

‘Scott didn’t play much at MK Dons, which surprised me a little bit,’ he said.

‘I see utilising him as being very, very simple.

‘The relationship I have with him involves just asking him to go out and enjoy himself and be a nuisance.

‘I know he has the ability to go past people and hurt people, especially with his passing ability.

‘So I give him a little bit of freedom to go out and play.

‘That’s his best position – he can play anywhere across midfield.

‘He is a proper, proper footballer.

‘At times he was unplayable against Sheffield United.

‘They couldn’t get near him and – on occasions – they tried to resort to kicking him, but even then he kept coming back.

‘That type of ability doesn’t surprise me for one second.

‘I brought him here last year and I was aware of his ability before I even brought him to West Brom.

‘I had seen him numerous times playing for Dundee United and Scotland under-21s.

‘Scott has a bright future ahead of him.’

Allan was presented with his second Pompey debut on Monday – just six hours after linking up with the club again.

He was given a licence to roam in the hole between the midfield and the lone striker.

The Scot thrived when he was handed that responsibility at Bramall Lane.

Later he moved to the right flank, when Luke Rodgers came on to partner McLeod in a two-pronged attack.

It is that versatility which enabled him to become a firm fans’ favourite during his previous time on the south coast. And Appleton plans to once more make the most of Allan’s flexibility amid his restricted squad numbers.

He added: ‘Scott was pretty much thrown into the heat of the battle at Sheffield United and I thought he was fantastic.

‘He covered some ground before tiring at the end, which was natural.

‘Scott did well in there and I remember when we brought him here last season.

‘He played anywhere across that front six, I suppose, which was left side, right side, centrally, deep centrally, forward centrally and up front.

‘So he gives us loads of options, as do one or two of the players.

‘We will be looking to utilise him as best as we possibly can.’