Kenny Jackett: Brett Pitman can flourish in new Portsmouth role

Kenny Jackett lauded Brett Pitman’s Pompey reinvention.

Saturday, 9th March 2019, 11:26 pm
Updated Sunday, 10th March 2019, 1:10 am
Brett Pitman made a positive impact after coming on against Charlton for the final 14 minutes. Picture: Carl Thomas

And the Blues boss believes his club skipper can flourish within the fresh role unveiled in a Charlton cameo.

Pompey’s automatic promotion aspirations suffered yet another set-back on Saturday following a 2-1 defeat at Charlton.

Yet a 14-minute outing for the out-of-favour Pitman provided a rare positive during a miserable evening at The Valley.

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Introduced on 76 minutes for Gareth Evans, the seven-goal striker operated in a number 10 role behind fellow substitute James Vaughan.

That presence considerably lifted the Blues, also providing a late opportunity for Jamal Lowe with an excellent pass.

It represented Pitman’s first league outing in seven matches – and Jackett afterwards sang his praises.

Pompey’s manager said: ‘It was slightly deeper than where Brett normally plays, coming off the striker.

‘But he probably created the most clear-cut chance for us with a great reverse ball to Lowe towards the end the game.

‘Generally his role is a little bit deeper to what we are used to, but he linked the play very well and gave us maybe a little bit of perception we didn’t have up until that period.

‘It was a slightly deeper role, but I felt he showed good composure, good experience and good cameo performance.

‘We played him there for the reserve in the week, just coming off the centre-halves a little bit, with other people serving as that one up there.

‘If it can work and if we can get him on the ball creating those type of chances, then that will be good.

‘It’s slightly deeper than what he’s used to, but also he’s capable of coming up with goals when the ball goes into wide areas and arriving late.

‘We hope it’s something we can capitalise on. It will be great for him to come in fresh towards the end of the season and, at the right time, give us something different.’

Previously, Pitman’s most recent league appearance was at Luton on January 29.

Since then he had been handed 16 minutes of first-team action, while omitted from the squad on four occasions.

But he was trialled in a number 10 role in a 3-0 Pompey reserves win over Swindon on Tuesday.

And Jackett elected to offer a similar opportunity as he searched for a leveller in Saturday’s televised encounter.

He added: ‘At that stage, Charlton had Darren Pratley coming on as they worked to hold onto their lead – something which they did successfully.

‘I felt the two or three good blocks they got came through Brett creating, those were the chances and the cutting edge for us.

‘It is something to look at. If he can come back fresh then that will be good for us.’