Jackett: I won’t rip up Pompey’s formation

Kenny Jackett
Kenny Jackett
Stuart O'Keefe. Picture: Joe Pepler

Pompey midfielder will relish facing former club

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Kenny Jackett is ready to retain the playing system which earned Pompey the League Two crown.

However, he won’t rule out adapting his team to accommodate two strikers.

It’s not something that I want to rip up, the players have been recruited and coached for that system and I think it’s something I have to respect, particularly if there aren’t many signings

Kenny Jackett

Paul Cook was a faithful advocate of the 4-3-2-1 formation, employing the method almost exclusively during his time at Fratton Park.

Now there is a new man at the helm, armed with a fresh approach and different ideas.

Yet Jackett can recognise the strengths of sticking by the system which continues to prompt so much debate among the Fratton faithful.

And he is prepared to keep it in place for the time being.

He said: ‘I think it’s a very good system and I’ve used it before.

It is just about the most popular system these days.

‘It’s not something I want to rip up. The players have been recruited and coached for that system and I think it’s something I have to respect, particularly if there aren’t many signings.

‘It will be something I’ll respect and want to encourage. The players know that system, have been recruited for it, coached in it, it’s something I’m looking to maximise – but ultimately through recruitment and coaching I want to implement my own style.

‘There are different ways of playing it. Some people play it quite direct, some people play it with a more slow and patient build up and it does always depend on the nature of your players, in particular the number 10 position.

‘If it is a midfield player, sometimes you get a little bit of possession and it can be quite defensive.

‘Whereas if it’s a forward player it can become more attacking.

‘The club obviously got it right during the run-in. It was right for the club at that particular time.

‘If you listen to Shaun Dyche, he still calls things 4-4-2.

‘You have a nine and a 10 and he would prefer two forwards but in the Premier League I’ve seen them put Jeff Hendrick behind Sam Vokes.

‘There are similarities, I feel. 4-2-3-1 is a variation of a 4-4-2 and it’s a good one. I am not necessarily going to rip it up.

‘I understand it’s a strength of where we are now.’

The unwillingness of Cook to field two strikers for home matches irritated some of the Fratton faithful.

Jackett, though, admits it is something he would like to address.

He added: ‘If I can get to two forwards I would prefer that, it’s something I’d want to do.

‘But it’s not always two forwards being right up there and hitting the ball high.

‘The old tradition of one coming towards the ball and one going long is something I think works well.

‘I do feel you have to maximize the squad you possess but also in this day and age you must be definite and work towards both in your coaching and recruitment.’