Former winner Jackett targets Pompey Checkatrade progress

Former winner Kenny Jackett believes the Checkatrade Trophy can provide clubs with precious momentum.

Friday, 1st December 2017, 6:00 am
Pompey boss Kenny Jackett Picture: Joe Pepler

And he will once again unleash a strong side when Pompey take on Northampton in the knock-out stages.

Jackett oversaw Swansea’s capture of what was then known as the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy in the 2006-07 season.

In terms of cup silverware, it remains the only trophy of his managerial career – although he has won the League One title.

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Kenny Jackett celebrates Johnstone's Paint Trophy glory with Swansea

Having emerged through the group stages, the Blues are now four matches from Wembley.

Pompey will be without Brett Pitman, Oli Hawkins, Kal Naismith and Dion Donohue for tomorrow’s visit of the Cobblers (12.30pm).

But Jackett insists his team will retain the power to reach the next round.

He said: ‘This competition always starts with teams making a high number of changes and low interest from the crowd.

Kenny Jackett celebrates Johnstone's Paint Trophy glory with Swansea

‘Then it builds up as you get through and when you reach the final it’s great, with the crowd getting behind it. It’s good to see.

‘The latter stages are exciting and we want to get through and into those.

‘At Swansea it was more about getting through the leagues. The year we won the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy we were beaten in the play-off final on penalties, so it was a good year or bad year.

‘It’s probably the only trophy I have won – although it depends on what you call a trophy.

‘I do feel there’s something for momentum, though.

‘Probably two of the games we’ve had – Fulham and Charlton – have been similar in that they have helped promote some confidence, maybe a slight change in team selection and provide opportunity for people to spur us on for league wins.

‘We haven’t got a high number of players available, but we haven’t had too few either. We have been okay.

‘The majority of the senior pros have all been close to team selection all season – and that will continue against Northampton.’

With Jackett unwilling to risk those recovering from injury, he will seek to tinker with his starting XI.

And that could mean some of his regulars continuing in the much-maligned cup.

He added: ‘When we have got around to these competitions, particularly in defence, we haven’t had the players to necessarily change.

‘Similarly, working with a tight-knit squad and a close squad brings a lot of advantages as well.

‘It keeps everybody’s focus because they are all close to the team. We have 25 pros here and three of them are out on loan, while Jack Whatmough is injured.

‘Pro-wise, we will do well to get to 18 tomorrow. Everybody will be involved, I don’t think people will be rested.

‘It will be a strong side. We don’t play again in the league until Saturday, so we need to do some work.’