Jackett: Pompey need midfield nous

Pompey boss Kenny Jackett Picture: Shaun Boggust
Pompey boss Kenny Jackett Picture: Shaun Boggust
Stuart O'Keefe. Picture: Joe Pepler

Pompey midfielder will relish facing former club

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KENNY JACKETT stressed the importance of getting the right fit in his midfielder hunt.

And the Pompey boss believes his search for reinforcement in the middle of the park needs to lead to experience being added to his ranks.

Cardiff midfielder Stuart O'Keefe

Cardiff midfielder Stuart O'Keefe

The Blues have been linked with a loan move for Cardiff midfielder Stuart O’Keefe this week.

It appears the 26-year-old is one of a number of players on Jackett’s radar, as he develops a varied hit-list of targets.

It’s clear Pompey need nous in the central area, with Danny Rose the only player of real experience there.

Michael Eisner’s takeover completion doesn’t appear to mean an immediate loosening of the purse strings.

Jackett is aware the budget is at its limit and he has to sell before he adds any new faces.

That means his net is currently being cast wide.

‘As a manager you’re always looking to strengthen,’ said Jackett.

‘If you ask any manager where they were in their squad plan, they’d say they’d like another one or two. I have to be honest with you – I’m no different!

‘With a month left I’m pleased with the squad and I’m pleased with the attitude. Would I like another one or two? Yes I would.

‘But, for us, it’s going to need someone to go out before that happens.

‘Is it imminent? At what level are we able to bring a player in? Is it a young player? Is it an experienced Championship player?

‘Is it somebody who’s maybe coming out of non-league? There’s the finances of that to consider.

‘Because of that, our list has different options. So it does depend on where we are and what market we’re shopping in.

‘We’ve tried to do as much homework as we can on some options. Then, should the right deal come up for us, we’ll be able to move.’

Jackett warned adding another young midfielder will only hinder the development of others, in an area currently congested with inexperienced players.

He feels there’s already too many to allow talents to progress without being stifled.

The manager added: ‘If we take the midfield as an example, there’s five young players in central midfield between 18 and 21 here.

‘Then there’s Danny Rose and Carl Baker, who’s played there in the past two friendlies.

‘There’s five young central midfield players, so it’s quite hard to get a succession plan in place.

‘It’s hard to get a career plan in place for all of them because there’s just not the space. That’s where it is.

‘Similarly, if you’re talking about recruitment, if there was someone who was absolutely outstanding, then fine.

‘But if it’s somebody similar to those guys that wouldn’t be it either.

‘So you’re looking at proven players – players with league games etc.’