Jackett: Being Pompey boss is a privilege and I'm hungry to drive this club forward

Kenny Jackett addresses supporters about his hopes and ambitions for what lies ahead in his second season at the Pompey helm'¦

Friday, 3rd August 2018, 2:36 pm
Updated Friday, 31st August 2018, 5:13 pm
Pompey manager Kenny Jackett. Picture: Joe Pepler/ PinPep Media

We're looking forward to the season starting and seeing what lies ahead for this fantastic football club.

It's going to be a hard season and League One is going to be a tough competition, there's no doubt about that.

We want to be up there, though. We want to be in that top 10 and pushing for one of those three automatic promotion spots. That's our aim.

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It's tough to tell if it's going to be a weaker or stronger division than last season at the moment.

There's maybe not the outstanding candidates we had last time. Everyone would agree that Blackburn and Wigan fell into that category.

Sunderland are the obvious choice and we will all be interested to see how they settle into it.

With a big club like that they will have their own hurdles to overcome in dealing with the realignment after relegation.

Pompey manager Kenny Jackett. Picture: Joe Pepler/ PinPep Media

Last season the three sides who came down all went straight back up.

There are some strong squads coming down again and on top of that there's a couple of big clubs coming into division from below.

They are proper clubs coming up with good squads, decent budgets and some good players.

The division looks very even to me at the moment, and the challenge for us is to make sure we are as good and as competitive as anybody. That's what we have to do.

It's true there are probably eight or 10 clubs who would say they really feel in with a chance of getting promotion - and we're one of them.

We've made some good additions and have added some depth to the squad. When everyone's fit and available I think we look strong. 

We need that competition and cover. It means we can change things for the cup competitions and not put too much stress on people.

The aim is for the players to last effectively throughout the course of the season.

The squad does look decent, but the proof is going to be in the pudding.

We'll have to see how the season goes, how people perform and how the team gels.

We need to look at how effective we can be and build on what we achieved last season.

Last season was a good season, and we have to now look to build on that and continue moving forward.

It's true that this season will probably afford us a good context to how successful the last one was.

If we kick on and challenge it will be viewed as a useful period of transition, if we don't then it won't be seen so positively.

We've brought in one or two older lads in, but it's mainly a younger squad here at present. That's where it is. That's our model and where we are.

We accept that, but similarly all of our younger players like Brandon Haunstrup, Matt Clarke, Jack Whatmough, Ben Close, Conor Chaplin and all those guys are a year older as well.

In terms of experience building up they know the division now and what it's all about.

They've been though a season in this league, know what is needed and want to improve.

I do genuinely think the promotion equation is usually quite old, wherever that may be.

We are going to do it a slightly different route, but if you are good enough you are old enough.

We want that crossover where we have that hunger and enthusiasm, but similarly we have enough knowledge and experience to negotiate the season.

As we move towards the start of the season the players are all hungry to get match-fit and also be fit and available.

For us, we have to really work on our physical conditioning and make sure we are as robust as we can possibly be.

The anticipation is building everywhere and that's the same, of course, within the squad.

There's an initial buzz when the players return for pre-season training, then as the days pass by you can see the Luton game on the horizon and getting closer.

It's a nice time of year because of that anticipation and everyone looking to get off the mark in a positive fashion.

The Luton game is one to look forward to.

It will be a packed Fratton Park with a lot of season tickets once again sold, and they will bring a decent away following down.

I know one of them is a cup game, but three of our first four games are at home.

So getting off to a good start at Fratton and building up that home record is something I'm really looking forward to doing.

I think it's a privilege to do the job I do at this football club. It's a great chance and a great opportunity for me as a manager.

Portsmouth is a great club to be the manager of, and I'm very enthusiastic about taking it forward.