Jackett calls for Pompey bravery

Kenny Jackett saw hesitant Pompey come unstuck at Shrewsbury.

Sunday, 24th December 2017, 7:00 pm
Pompey boss Kenny Jackett. Picture: Joe Pepler

Now the Blues boss is calling on his side to show the kind of football bravery which can reignite play-off ambitions.

Defensive mistakes may have proved costly at New Meadow on Saturday but it was a lack of creativity Jackett was focusing on after the game.

The 55-year-old knows that has to be eradicated on Boxing Day against AFC Wimbledon – a side boosted by victory over promotion-chasing Bradford City.

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AFC Wimbledon manager Neal Ardley

A bumper crowd is expected at Fratton Park for today’s game, following the news Pompey’s home has been given a capacity boost.

The North Stand now has 738 further seats available taking the capacity to 19,669 – with the majority of those expected to be snapped up.

Jackett said: ‘There will be a big crowd in for the game and it’s a great football day. It’s terrific to be involved in.

‘We had a tough game at their place and they are going to want to keep their momentum building after that last win.

AFC Wimbledon manager Neal Ardley

‘For us, though, I’m glad we have another game coming quickly after Shrewsbury.

‘The quality of our attacking play was a frustration at Shrewsbury.

‘We didn’t do enough against them on the ball. I don’t think we were brave enough.

‘There’s going to have to be more of that against Wimbledon.

‘We want to put on a better performance in front of our fans than we did at Shrewsbury. We didn’t do enough.

‘We’re looking to get on the ball and create chances like we have done at home.

‘We respect them and will have to work hard to negate them.

‘At the end of the day, though, we want to impose ourselves on them and score goals.’

Wimbledon may find themselves on the fringes of the League One drop zone but they have punched above their weight to be in the division at all.

They achieved that by beating Plymouth Argyle in the League Two play-off final in 2016.

That was after Paul Cook’s Pompey side had lost to the Pilgrims.

Wimbledon then defied the pundits by surviving in the third tier last term.

Neal Ardley has impressed in the Dons’ hot seat – his only managerial role since taking the reins in 2012.

Jackett added: ‘Neal Ardley is not someone I know too well.

‘I’ve met him a few times since he’s moved into management.

‘It’s his first job at Wimbledon and he has done very well.

‘He’s built gradually after his promotion and is trying to establish himself in League One. He’s doing a good job.’

It will be friends reunited for the game with Paul Robinson back at Fratton Park.

He’s now a part of the Wimbledon squad after time at Pompey – and working with Jackett at Millwall.

Jackett said: ‘Paul was a very good player for me in my Millwall days.

‘He’s an ex-Portsmouth player, too, as there always seems to be everywhere with there being a high turnover of players here in the past few years.

‘Paul is an excellent professional and a trusted player for me.’