Middle of the road for Pompey boss

Pompey boss Kenny Jackett Picture: Joe Pepler

August and September have been negotiated – now time to deliver an assessment.

And according to Kenny Jackett, Pompey find themselves positioned in the middle between success and struggle.

The Blues boss has long insisted he could only accurately gauge his team’s potential once the opening two months were over.

That period ended last Saturday with a desperately-disappointing 2-1 home reverse to Oldham.

The first 11 games of the campaign have seen plenty of personnel changes, largely influenced by a lengthy injury list.

Still, Pompey are sitting 15th in League One as they head into Sunday’s televised trip to Gillingham.

And Jackett is encouraged.

‘I feel we’re bang in the middle,’ he said.

‘We’re five points off the play-off places and five points off the relegation places and I think that’s about right for us.

‘Go back to the AFC Wimbledon game and look at the back four of Thompson, Burgess, Clarke and McCrory. I was starting to think “maybe that gives us a base”.

‘For the majority of the Oldham game we had lost three out of those four, so we’re waiting and looking for the side to settle down.

‘We’ll make sure we get a consistent team somewhere along the way, we just want to be in touching distance when we do.

‘I would love to be higher up the league and naming the same XI all the time.

‘I would love some of the younger players to be playing consistently and really pushing through. We are working towards all those things.

‘We want to keep improving as the season goes on through coaching, my own managerial organisation and, at the right time, recruitment as well.

‘All of those areas we are working hard at.’

Pompey will be without Brett Pitman and Conor Chaplin at the Priestfield Stadium as injuries continue to bite.

But Jackett recognises potential in the squad to rise up the table.

He added: ‘They can improve a lot, our aspirations are to try to be a force in this division.

‘We have just come out of League Two and there is a transition period. I suppose there is also transition in this squad, from one manager to another.

‘Even so, Portsmouth are capable of doing well in League One.

‘I don’t think we are the worst side in the league – and I don’t think we are the best.’

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