The Insider: Jackett will take Pompey back to top

Leigh Griffiths, left, with former Wolves boss Kenny Jackett
Leigh Griffiths, left, with former Wolves boss Kenny Jackett
Gary Roberts scores against Plymouth at Fratton Park back in April Picture: Joe Pepler

Pompey set for another port dust-up with League Two rivals

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Kenny Jackett is the most professional manager I’ve ever come across.

I was really disappointed to see him sacked by Wolves. I thought it was terribly unfair. I still maintain he would’ve got Wolves into the Premier League.

In 20 years of dealing with managers, he was by far the most meticulous I’ve dealt with.

He is always immaculately dressed and always on time. That reflects his whole approach to football management – he’s a consummate professional.

I think he will be a very different animal to Paul Cook. With Cookie you get a rounded picture of what he’s like. I don’t think many people get to know about Kenny the man.

The success he had at Wolves was incredible, though. I counted six or seven club records he hit in the 2013-14 League One title-winning season. They won 17 out of their last 21 games, including a club-record nine-match winning streak.

Man management is a big strength of his, too.

Bakary Sako was a big fish in League One and there was a couple of times when he left him out when he could’ve joined Forest for £4m. It didn’t happen, but he got him on board and playing well. He finished as top scorer.

He turned Leigh Griffiths into a player. He’d been here two years and not played. Under Kenny he was top scorer and was then sold to Celtic when it was clear his head had been turned.

Dave Edwards is still churning it out now. He would probably say he owes Kenny more than anyone. He found him his best position after several years, and he responded with nine goals in the title-winning season.

Kenny is always a fine ambassador for his club. He can always be trusted to say the right thing.

It seems most managers in football have an ego. That’s really not the case with Kenny. He’s a very humble man, will treat everyone the same and with a lot of respect.

He’s modest and that’s one of his charms. It’s all about the team with Kenny.

He had a good career himself, with a load of Wales caps and 300-odd games for Watford, but he’s very self-deprecating about it. When he talks about Watford he says it was John Barnes and 10 others!

Kenny will use a variety of formations and play out from the back. He’s not a long-ball disciple of Graham Taylor.

He’d play 4-4-2 or 4-2-3-1. He’s quite flexible in his formation, although he never played with three at the back. Also, he did a very good job at promoting home-grown talent which had been smothered.

The players always said he was right up there in terms of his knowledge of the game and whatever they needed to know about the opposition.

You could ask him about virtually any player and he’d instinctively know about them and be able to give you a detailed critique.

I really hope he gets a good crack at it with Pompey because he deserves to be at a big club again.

Some managers haven’t got it, but he has the gravitas, work ethic and knowledge to be a real success.

I can really see him taking Pompey back to where they belong.

Tim Nash is an author, journalist and was the Wolves reporter for the Express & Star for 18 years. He worked with Kenny Jackett during his time at Molineux.