Pompey boss backs himself to unearth gems

Pompey boss Kenny Jackett. Picture: Ian Hargreaves (170629-1)
Pompey boss Kenny Jackett. Picture: Ian Hargreaves (170629-1)
Christian Burgess, left, and Oli Hawkins at the final whistle Picture: Paul Currie/Bluepitch media

Jackett: Sloppy Pompey start cost us

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Kenny Jackett is confident he can attract a wave of emerging talent to Pompey.

The Blues boss has backed himself to be able to bring some of the game’s best young players to Fratton Park.

Jackett is stepping up his recruitment drive and was at the club’s Roko base last week as he set about his reshaping plans with assistant manager Joe Gallen.

The 55-year-old has indicated he is preparing to raid Premier League clubs for additions.

After being submitted by the third Saturday in May, clubs’ retained and released lists have now been made public.

Jackett spent time working at Spurs’ academy ahead of arriving as Paul Cook’s successor at the start of the month.

On top of that, he has shown a desire to work with young players from some of the game’s biggest clubs – either on loan or after they have been released.

Jackett feels he has a strong understanding of what will be available to Pompey.

And, whether it’s temporary or permanent additions, the Londoner’s confident that knowledge will be well utilised.

Jackett said: ‘The time with Spurs kept me out on the grass working, which I consider to be one of my strengths.

‘It builds contacts and knowledge of players.

‘You need to know certain big clubs and know every player there. You need to know every player from under-16 through to under-23 to make sure when you do sign players you know the market.

‘You need to know the players you will be able to draw to a club a little lower down. And you need to be able to work with them.

‘They can then help the club to be successful and that coincides with their career developing.’

Jackett highlighted the importance of squad strengthening over the coming weeks.

Pompey currently have 21 players signed up for the new season, with five players committing to new contracts since the season’s end.

There are still obvious gaps, with no senior keeper at the club and Brandon Haunstrup the only left-back.

Danny Rose is the only senior defensive midfielder after skipper Michael Doyle’s departure for Coventry.

Of the current squad, seven are aged 20 or under.

Jackett feels it is important not to focus purely on bringing young talent into the club from elsewhere.

He reckons there is talent already at Pompey which can be harnessed.

Jackett said: ‘There’s plenty to look at and squad building is going to be a key one in this window.

‘With people leaving there are naturally a couple of holes which need to be filled.

‘I want to put my own stamp on the squad but I wouldn’t suggest there will be lots of signings this summer.

‘We’ll assess that and see. We know what we’ll be looking for.

‘It’s also about exploiting and maximising the potential here.

‘There are some young players here, young players who are well-rated.

‘We want them to come through and take the club on.’