Jackett’s demand as Pompey hunt for cutting edge

Brett Pitman. Picture: Joe Pepler
Brett Pitman. Picture: Joe Pepler
Stuart O'Keefe. Picture: Joe Pepler

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POMPEY have been challenged to aid Brett Pitman as they aim to rediscover their cutting edge.

Kenny Jackett wants to see the Blues’ leading goalscorer supported more as they hunt for goals.

Jackett’s players have failed to find the back of the net in the past three games, with Mathieu Baudry’s own goal at Doncaster the only time they’ve been on the score sheet.

Pitman still figures among the division’s top scorers, despite missing three league outings after knee and nose operations.

The 29-year-old has nine goals, but the nearest Pompey players to that total are Oli Hawkins and Jamal Lowe, who both have four.

Jackett’s side have bagged a total of 19 strikes in the league to date, with 13 of their rivals currently bettering that total.

The Pompey boss is looking for Pitman’s team-mates to lighten the load on their skipper and start registering more frequently.

The 55-year-old sees no reason why that can’t be achieved while their leading goal threat continues his finishing form.

Jackett said: ‘Yes, I’d definitely 100 per cent like to spread the goals around.

‘But I’d like Brett to score just as many and for his ratio to be just as good.

‘We need to keep providing him because he’s got a great goalscoring record all of the way through (his career).

‘Coming here and scoring goals is one of the big reasons and appeal for signing him.

‘So goals (spread around)? Yes. Goalscorers, too? Yes, definitely.

‘But we do need more and we do need more threat and people who can score.

‘That’s certainly from the two wide men and the player who plays up and around Brett in the number 10 position.

‘That’s headers from our centre-backs and shots from our full-backs and midfield players. Yes, we’d like that distribution to be right the way through the team to add to that total.’

Jackett is a big fan of analysing data and compiles his own statistics when digesting Pompey’s performance from the comfort of his home.

He feels there is a benefit to that process and has noted how his side had more crosses into the box and registered more shots on goal in recent defeats to Doncaster and Bradford.

While he takes solace from the fact his team have been creating opportunities without taking them, Jackett realises that’s a pattern which can improve.

He said: ‘It works out that it’s one in eight or 10 shots which result in a goal.

‘The three defeats we’ve had, in two of them – Saturday and Doncaster – we’ve had more shots than the opposition.

‘We’ve had more shots in total, more shots on target and more balls into the box.

‘You never want to lose and that pattern can’t continue.

‘Similarly, when you’re on top in games but losing there’s an imbalance coming.’