Jackett’s words of advice to Pompey striker

Oliver Hawkins holds his head in his hands after his missed header during the first half at Scunthorpe   Picture: Joe Pepler
Oliver Hawkins holds his head in his hands after his missed header during the first half at Scunthorpe Picture: Joe Pepler
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Oliver Hawkins has been challenged to bounce back from his costly Scunthorpe miss.

The Pompey striker was left ruing squandering a crucial first-half chance in Saturday’s 2-0 loss at Glanford Park.

Hawkins was restored to the starting XI against the Iron, but was frustrated after failing to convert a key first-half header.

The 25-year-old failed to level for the Blues as he planted his effort wide while unmarked from close range.

Scunthorpe then doubled their advantage three minutes later and frustrated Kenny Jackett’s men for the rest of the afternoon.

The Pompey boss had no doubt the chance was a major moment in deciding how the clash unfolded.

He knows Hawkins will be feeling the pain of not opening his goal account at the fourth time of asking.

And Jackett made it clear the non-league arrival now has to show his strength of character.

He said: ‘That’s what happens with strikers.

‘If you score it you’re the hero, and if you miss it you’re the villain.

‘He had a few headers at the back post he’ll be disappointed with.

‘He’s either got to hit the target or get it back across goal.

‘It’s a frustration, because it was an open period of the game when we had quite a lot going on.

‘We could have got a decent foothold in the game, but fair play to Scunthorpe they got their noses in front and stayed there.

‘You have to be strong enough when it doesn’t go in for you to go again. Jamal (Lowe) was in a similar situation a couple of weeks ago and got two against Fleetwood.

‘It’s about being strong enough as a forward to take it and be able to bounce back.’

Apart from Hawkins’ gilt-edged opportunity, Pompey created little else in the way of clear chances despite dominating possession.

Jackett acknowledged that was the case, but pointed out the 4-1 home win over Fleetwood showed they are capable of attacking penetration.

He added: ‘Some weeks we have it, some weeks we don’t.

‘We’ve been pretty good recently in terms of chances and goals.

‘Last time out we scored four goals. That was a home game, though. But we have people to create, players coming on like Kal Naismith and Conor Chaplin to open teams up.’

Pompey now move on to face Bristol Rovers exhibiting inconsistent form this term.

Scunthorpe, meanwhile, look like being a force in League One for the third season on the bounce.

Jackett acknowledged there’s plenty his club can learn from the Iron.

‘We’re capable of being a force at this level. We don’t think we’re too far away, which is the frustrating thing at times,’ added the boss.

‘But Scunthorpe have a good squad and have established themselves.

‘If you look at their back-up centre-half, he cost £135,000 from Fulham and is a good investment for the future. They put him on in front of the centre-halves to see the game out. He’s someone I know very well from London.

‘They’ve got a good model where they’ve invested well and there is good competition for places.’