Pompey boss sees cause for attacking optimism

Pompey boss Kenny Jackett, right. Picture: Shaun Boggust
Pompey boss Kenny Jackett, right. Picture: Shaun Boggust
Former Pompey striker Yakubu has retired from football. Picture: Mic Young

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Kenny Jackett believes Pompey are offering attacking promise ahead of the new season.

The Blues boss was pleased with the questions his team posed Premier League Bournemouth in Saturday’s 2-1 warm-up loss.

Pompey recovered from a difficult opening against the Cherries at Fratton Park to perform well on front foot.

The 25 goals scored in the first five pre-season games were added to by a second-half strike from Conor Chaplin.

He was teed up by Brett Pitman, who Jackett feels has added another dimension on the front foot.

Jackett said: ‘There was hopefully a cutting edge up front which can encourage people.

‘We needed an experienced forward. It was what was needed.

‘There are options for us, several other options behind those two.

‘Naismith is an interesting player. He’s someone who can play right along that front line – all four positions.

‘He’s capable up there – as is Curtis Main and Nicke Kabamba, who have shown promise in pre-season.

‘We’re going to need all of those.

‘It’s not a situation where we can look at two players for a nine and 10.

‘It’s a long season with different competitions and a lot of months ahead.

‘We will need a squad and unit which is capable of stepping in when people are either fatigued, injured or suspended.’

Jackett was also satisfied with Pompey’s general play as they now work towards their final warm-up game at Crawley ahead of the League One curtain raiser against Rochdale on August 5.

Jackett added: ‘We showed good character, quality and, at times, good passing ability.

‘We’re going to need both sides of the game to be an effective unit.

‘There were good signs by the end.

‘Now the players have to keep working and look forward to the Crawley game.

‘We’ve got a good week ahead of us and now have to make sure we have a group of players who are capable and competitive enough to do well in the opening months of the season.

‘I thought the players showed good ability, both in possession and out.’

Christian Burgess picked up man-of-the-match plaudits for his confident showing against Bournemouth’s wealth of attacking quality.

Jackett feels the balance was right between defensive duties and then looking to build from the back.

He said: ‘You are looking for the triangle of your keeper and centre-backs to be strong and dominant.

‘But you also want them to be good on the ball because you want them to start attacks.

‘It’s something we have worked on and, at times, we played out very well from the back.

‘There were some encouraging signs at the back and, with Whatmough and Clarke around, there’s good competition there.’