Kenny Jackett pinpoints area Pompey need to improveÂ

KENNY JACKETT wants Pompey to be more constructive in the middle of the park.

Monday, 13th August 2018, 6:37 pm
Updated Sunday, 2nd September 2018, 10:05 pm
Ben Close made his first start of the season at Blackpool. Picture: Joe Pepler

But he believes that will come when his central-midfield options gain full match fitness.

The Blues delivered a 2-1 victory over Blackpool on Saturday to continue their 100-per-cent winning start to the season.

While Jackett was impressed with certain aspects of his side's performance, he raised some concerns regarding creativity stemming from his engine room.

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Ben Close made his first start of the season at Blackpool. Picture: Joe Pepler

The Pompey boss feels once that area improves then it will bolster his side's promotion charge.

'˜We definitely want to get that middle third of the pitch right,' said Jackett.

'˜It was there at times against Blackpool and it was certainly better than against Luton.

'˜We are delighted with the spirit and  competitive nature of the squad.

Pompey boss Kenny Jackett. Picture: Joe Pepler

'˜Those things are there and we just want to be able to work on having a bit more quality, co-ordination and passing.

'˜They will be the things that will really bring us forward.

'˜The aim (on Saturday) was to be more constructive on the ball than we were against Luton. 

'˜If there was a criticism from Saturday or something we didn't quite get right then we didn't do that.'

Ben Close made his first start of the summer at Bloomfield Road, featuring in a central-midfield role. 

He was partnered by wideman Gareth Evans in the middle of the park, while Tom Naylor shielded Pompey's defence.  

Meanwhile, Danny Rose is working his way back to full sharpness after breaking his leg last season, and Dion Donohue is sidelined with a groin injury after recently recovering from glandular fever. 

Jackett reckons Pompey will have more control in the engine room when Close, Rose and Donohue get a run of games under their belts. 

The boss added: 'When the likes of Close, Donohue and Rose get up to speed then there will be more control in that area.

'I also feel in terms of goals that Gareth Evans is good.

'Ben did okay, he will get fitter. Saturday will do him the world of good.

'˜He didn't start any games in pre-season at all. That's his first start and him, Donohue and Rose will come good and will give us the football in the middle that we need.'