POMPEY’s season opening will define their targets for the new campaign.
Kenny Jackett feels the first 11 league games of the new term in League One will reveal his team’s ambitions.
There’s been much debate about where the Blues should be aiming next term.
Stability is the objective of many reasoned fans following a step up in division.
But many of the Pompey squad have outlined plans to challenge for success in the third tier.
Jackett highlighted maintaining the impetus of winning the League Two title as a big factor for the Blues.
That will be needed to deliver a strong start and raise the bar for his side.
‘It’s a big achievement to get over the line last season,’ said Jackett.
‘Now I see a big anticipation from the players going into the new season and the new level.
‘I want to harness that, keep the enthusiasm going and point them in the right direction.
‘Through the key months of August and September we need to keep that momentum going to see where we go.
‘You see greater responses as you go on and you have to shake off the rustiness of not playing.
‘In pre-season, though, you have to hit the ground running and you can’t be too far behind with the first couple of months so important. That’s both in your fitness and, as a manager, the message you want to get across.
‘The team needs to get into a rhythm. If weaknesses show, we need to do something about it very quickly.
‘That’s the reason we’re clear and consistent with the team selection.’
Jackett’s efforts to look to the future and blood young players may also have a big impact on where the season is headed.
He said: ‘There’s some good young players here who have the ability to make a mark. I’m looking for a lot of the young players to show they are ready to come through and show they can have successful Portsmouth careers.
‘That has to be there.
‘You run a youth policy to supplement the first team.
‘The standards of a club get higher and I hope they do here, because it means Portsmouth are progressing.
‘For the young players to meet that standard is a big challenge.
‘But we want to push and test those players.
‘We want to test them so that at the right time they get that opportunity.’
Jackett also highlighted it will be important for Pompey to look outside of the club to take them to where they aim to be.
He said: ‘It’s a constant assessment. It doesn’t stop on August 5.
‘Come September the window closes for six months, but that’s not to say you aren’t assessing and working towards the next window and improving.
‘That can be internally, and that’s the best place to improve.
‘If that’s the case then fine.
‘But there are times when they need to come from outside. That’s when your recruitment team come into place.
‘It’s about making sure there’s a clear defined philosophy, blueprint and style everybody has to be into. There has to be standards which are matched right the way through the club.’