Jackett identifies what Portsmouth have to do to get best out of Pitman

Pompey have to work harder to get the best out of Brett Pitman.

Thursday, 17th January 2019, 3:39 pm
Updated Thursday, 7th February 2019, 5:40 pm
Pompey's Brett Pitman. Picture: Joe Pepler

And that means upping the volume and quality of the Blues’ crossing as they go to Oxford.

Kenny Jackett knows how to utlilise Pitman’s threat is going to be a consideration for his team, with Oli Hawkins possibly out for the rest of the month.

Pompey laboured on that front and created little for the striker to feed on in last weekend's 1-0 loss to Blackpool at Fratton Park.

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Pompey's Brett Pitman. Picture: Joe Pepler

Jackett knows that’s something which needs to be put right at the Kassam Stadium if Pitman is to thrive.

He said: ‘Brett’s scored most of his goals in his career off being very strong off crosses.

‘That’s after being in good areas, bad areas, good crosses and bad ones.

‘But generally getting the ball in the box a lot is something he’s thrived on.

‘His headers since he’s been here have been fantastic headers.

‘But every striker thrives on a particular service and service from balls into the box has been Brett’s bread and butter.

‘While you are always looking for quality, volume of balls into the box is never a bad thing either.

‘Generally if you do that, get enough people in there things and they have enough finishing ability things will fall for you eventually.

‘That will happen if there’s good character and good perseverance level.

‘I’m all for quality definitely but if you get the ball into the box more than the opposition does yours, things do generally work out for you.’

Jackett acknowledged Pompey were far from their best last weekend, as they failed to get a shot on target until five minutes from time.

That’s been looked at this week as the Blues aim to return to winning ways.

Jackett added: ‘The best crosses are the one which come in early and without inhibition.

‘They come in with a freedom for people to attack.

‘When people check back and put one in the keeper can take it. I do think that was a part of it as well (against Blackpool), although the keeper came and took some very good balls. It’s the right ball at the right time.

‘You have to put things into context all the time.

‘How important our things? Are they one of our core values or are they peripheral?

‘The coaching back to the players have to reflect that.

‘For us, we didn’t do enough going forward and had a slow tempo.

‘We didn’t do enough.’