There was plenty of confusion among Portsmouth supporters when it was announced Oli Hawkins would be playing centre-back against Norwich City U21s in the EFL Trophy.
The 27-year-old, who is normally a striker, had only played there in nine of the 117 matches across his professional career, as per Transfermarkt.
However, he put in a solid performance at the back for Kenny Jackett’s side as they went on to win the game 3-1, making it two wins from two in the competition.
To add to the fact Hawkins wasn’t playing in his favoured position, he was also taking part in his first game of the campaign, having not even made the bench for a League One game.
Despite this, he slotted in fairly seamlessly at the back for Pompey as he played the full 90 minutes, making: 4 clearances, 1 interception, 2 tackles, winning 7 ground duels and 5 aerial duels, as per SofaScore.
He also gave the slightest of glimpses of his attacking composure, completing the 1 dribble and 1 cross that he attempted during the match, as well as successfully making 5 long balls.
There was also very little he could have done for Norwich’s goal, as Tom Scully pounced on a poor touch from Sean Raggett to finish clinically, as shown in the highlights video on the Portsmouth FC YouTube channel.
Overall, this was an encouraging performance from the 27-year-old, with the displayed versatility likely to help his claim to at least get on the bench for Pompey in future games.
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