Harris urged to fulfil £1m player potential

Ashley Harris celebrates scoring after coming off the bench against Crawley
Ashley Harris celebrates scoring after coming off the bench against Crawley

Ashley Harris can become a £1m player if he can channel his impact from the bench over 90 minutes.

That’s the verdict of Michael Appleton after another impressive cameo appearance from the wide man against Swindon on Tuesday night.

The 18-year-old replaced Jordan Obita in the 67th minute and helped inspire a superb late rally from Pompey.

Appleton’s men went on to lose 2-1 against the Robins but once again Harris managed to pep up the side following his introduction.

The Blues boss has long voiced his belief the forward is better served as an impact player at present.

That has seen him starting just three of Pompey’s nine matches this season.

Yet Appleton is adamant if Harris can maintain those performances over 90 minutes he can become a prized asset.

He said: ‘It didn’t quite happen for Jordan against Swindon, that is why we changed it a little bit.

‘It gives me a few options now because people can come off the bench and raise a few eyebrows, like Ashley.

‘Ashley, at the minute, can’t do anything right when he starts a game and can’t do anything wrong when he comes off the bench.

‘I can understand people’s frustrations sometimes but I am probably more frustrated than anyone.

‘If he can start a game and finish a game the way he comes on for 20 minutes then we are talking about a £1m player very, very soon.

‘He has got to get that in his game and experience will get that in his game.’

Of Harris’ Pompey 14 career appearances to date, eight have come as a sub.

And despite starting two of the past three matches, his work off the bench has been far more impressive.