Jackett wants more ruthless Portsmouth threat on counter

POMPEY set the bar with a display of counter-attacking might against Plymouth.

Sunday, 2nd September 2018, 8:12 pm
Updated Monday, 3rd September 2018, 12:19 pm
Pompey boss Kenny Jackett. Picture: Joe Pepler

Now Kenny Jackett wants his side to develop a ruthless edge when taking apart League One sides on the break.

The impressive transition from defence to attack was a key feature of Saturday's 3-0 defeat of the Pilgrims.

Time and time again Pompey broke forward in numbers and at pace, with the visitors struggling to contend with their verve on the front foot.

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Pompey boss Kenny Jackett. Picture: Joe Pepler

Counter-attacking football is a key feature of the modern-day game and Jackett feels his team need to maintain the brutal nature in which that facet of their game was utilised.

The Blues boss said: '˜If you can play your football that way, as you go up levels they get better at doing it '“ right the way up to international football.

'˜They are ruthless on the counter-attack '“ as are the best teams are at whatever level.

'˜You can't give people the chance to get back into position.

Pompey celebrate Ronan Curtis' opener during their 3-0 win over Plymouth. Picture: Joe Pepler

'˜You can't allow them to get back behind the ball, realign their position and have a breather before concentrating on defending.

'˜That transition is a big feature as you step up each level.

'˜Blackburn last season were a good example of that.

'˜In our game there they did okay for 37 minutes then one counter-attack, one poor ball from Dion Donohue and Harry Chapman was on to it before Bradley Dack finished.

'˜It was a lesson for me and the team we were stepping up a level.'

Jackett is now looking for some home comforts with the Plymouth game the first of three at Fratton Park in eight days.

The Checkatrade Trophy meeting with Gillingham tomorrow is up next before Shrewsbury come to PO4 on Saturday.

The Plymouth victory has set an upbeat tone for that busy period.

Jackett added '˜It was a good performance and I felt we deserved to win.

'˜It's the start of a big week at home. We've got the Checkatrade tomorrow where we want to do well and the league game next Saturday.

'˜It's a good start to that run anyway and encouraging for our supporters, who got right behind us.'

 Ronan Curtis earned man-of-the-match plaudits after giving the visitors the runaround with two goals and an assist.

That took his total to the season to five goals in a flying start to his Pompey career.

Jackett said: '˜He's settled down very quickly and made the transition well, which is a great thing to do.

'˜We'll need the options because he's played most of the summer in the Irish league.

'˜It's been a feature of his start to pre-season. He had two-and-a-half weeks off and played through. It's helped him to hit the ground running, so hopefully he can build on that confidence.'

Jackett was able to introduce Christian Burgess, Nathan Thompson and Brett Pitman from the bench as Pompey suffered first-half injuries to Oli Hawkins, Jack Whatmough and Anton Walkes.

That's an insight into the depth of his squad after the close of the loan window.

'˜We feel we have a little more depth than what we've had. That's the overall thing,' said the manager.