Neil Allen: Pompey face different destiny with Jackett at helm

New Pompey boss Kenny Jckett Picture: Shaun Boggust
New Pompey boss Kenny Jckett Picture: Shaun Boggust
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We’ve been on our way and woken up in the morning feeling fine.

Trips to the Broadfield Stadium and Meadow Lane will forever invoke a smile and an emotional embrace, albeit hopefully journeys not to be undertaken in the immediate future.

Similarly, the mere utterance of Cheltenham will provoke halcyon visions of pitch invasions and tears rather than horse racing.

What a season, what a finale, what a group of players, what a manager. Credit to all.

Let us not succumb to bitterness towards those who sought an escape from Fratton Park in the glorious aftermath. There are two scheduled occasions to publicly vent your spleen on that one.

If fleeing League Two wasn’t enough of an achievement to savour, the manner in which it was clinched will forever remain lodged in Fratton folklore.

Forget Stockport County. Were you there when Pompey won the League Two title? Well, 17,956 were present – expect that to multiply over time.

Wonderful moments, indelible memories, yet now is focused on the present and the future.

Football barely has time to catch its breath before striving for new victories and seeking fresh goals.

Excuse me Gary Roberts, may I get my photo with you, you’re one of my favourite players.

The following day – it’s time to move on son, we need your wages to fund strengthening elsewhere in the playing squad.

That’s the oft-brutal industry that clubs, players, managers and supporters operate within. That’s football.

So here we are, braced for a League One campaign which brings with it alternative expectations to those which dogged the previous four seasons.

Steady and stable has been the general consensus emanating from Fratton Park during a summer in which Kenny Jackett swiftly replaced Paul Cook following his Wigan exit.

It was an appointment almost unanimously well-received by the Fratton faithful, while club coffers were swelled by an unspecified level of compensation.

Jackett has an impeccable reputation within the game, in addition his CV contains two promotions from League One with the likes of Millwall and Wolves, whose supporters were hearteningly gushing in their well wishing.

This is no second best, despite having lost a manager the board were desperate to keep yet ultimately priced out by Wigan’s wage offer.

Jackett will not be instructed to win promotion, similarly Pompey fans are not clamouring for a top-two finish to automatically secure a prized return to the Championship.

The campaign ahead is constructed upon realism, no grand schemes or outrageous demands, just a desire to stabilise and build.

That in itself creates a fascinating season ahead and potentially a more relaxed Fratton Park as opposed to the frustrations often unleashed after four unbearable years in the bottom division.

Unquestionably, Jackett is a figure who delivers a certain calmness around his surroundings – something not in the make-up of his predecessor, a contrasting character.

With a coaching background honed initially in youth football, he has frequently demonstrated his patience for bringing through youngsters and constructing clubs for the long-term.

It’s an approach Pompey currently crave. Escaping League Two required short-term fixes - and how everyone was grateful for that. Now the building must commence.

No disaster if promotion does not occur in Jackett’s maiden campaign, although obviously it is an outcome we would all relish.

A play-off push would be more reasonable and, considering the quality within the squad and the momentum heading into the season, is not too out of the question.

It seems ridiculous to suggest League One represents a step into the unknown for Portsmouth Football Club, yet that is precisely what it is for this squad.

These are the first tentative steps in a new future, a different destiny, with Jackett at the helm and new owners prospectively in place.

We’ll always have Meadow Lane, the Broadfield Stadium and Cheltenham, that will never alter through the ravages of time.

But here’s to the future.