John Mousinho backs youngster's Portsmouth career to flourish after Barnsley star turn

Paddy Lane netted the second goal of his Pompey career in the impressive 3-2 success at Barnsley. Picture: Jason Brown/ProSportsImages
Paddy Lane netted the second goal of his Pompey career in the impressive 3-2 success at Barnsley. Picture: Jason Brown/ProSportsImages

The Northern Ireland international produced an eye-catching Oakwell display in Tuesday night’s impressive 3-2 triumph.

Netting the second goal and playing a crucial role in the opener, it represented just a second league start of the season for the 22-year-old.

With Anthony Scully still sidelined through injury, Lane has the opportunity to cement a regular place in Mousinho’s side.

The former Fleetwood man finished last season strongly following his January arrival, a fact acknowledged by Pompey’s head coach.

Now Mousinho believes the talented youngster is ready to kick on again.

He told The News: ‘Paddy was brilliant at Barnsley, a constant threat down that right-hand side, he ran in behind, he got his goal, and maybe could have added another.

‘He was really, really good towards the back end of last season, but what he didn’t manage to get, apart from the final game against Wycombe, was that attacking and goal-scoring threat.

‘So I’m really pleased for him scoring that goal at Oakwell, while also backing it up with more and more chances. He was excellent, a constant thorn in the side.

‘I had no doubts when we signed Paddy that he’s going to have a terrific Pompey career, so these sort of performances aren’t a surprise to me.

‘He’ll only get better with the games and fitter with the games.

‘He was absolutely dead on his feet against Barnsley, but that’s just game time, that’s all it is. Nothing can ever replicate coming to Oakwell on a Tuesday night and putting in that amount of effort off the back of 89 minutes against Derby.

‘Paddy is a very, very fit young lad, always very high in the testing, but Barnsley was a different kettle of fish, particularly in the second half when we are asking him to do a slightly different job.

‘He will get fitter and fitter and fitter and we’ll see the culmination of his hard work, the hours and the effort he puts in. He’s a good kid in terms of his learning and what he wants to do and improve upon, a constant sponge.

‘And he’s going to get better and better for this football club.’

Lane has fought his way back after damaging ligaments in his right ankle during the pre-season trip to AFC Wimbledon.

He returned to first-team duty last month, appearing off the bench in the goalless draw against Cheltenham after missing the opening four fixtures.

The winger was handed his first league start of 2023-24 at Derby last weekend, retaining his place for the trip to Oakwell.

Mousinho added: ‘Paddy has come back from his injury and now started successive matches for us.

‘That were a lot of the positives in the first half at Barnsley when we were playing forward and has that flexibility to run in behind from the right-hand side, stretching Barnsley’s back line.

‘He really made a difference – and long may that continue.’