O'Keefe: Pompey have finally clicked
Kenny Jackett's Pompey have finally clicked.
That is the verdict of Stuart O’Keefe, after the Blues registered a third consecutive victory.
Oli Hawkins netted twice during an impressive first-half performance to put the Fratton Park hosts on their way to a 2-0 triumph over MK Dons.
It was the most eye-catching 45 minutes of Jackett’s tenure, demonstrating fluent, attacking football, inspired by Matty Kennedy in particular.
Stand-in skipper O’Keefe himself turned in a dominant midfield display, yet plenty of his team-mates also warranted praise.
The result leaves the Blues one point off the play-offs heading to Doncaster tomorrow (7.45pm) – and the loanee from Cardiff is convinced the team has now gelled.
O’Keefe said: ‘It was really encouraging. We took the game to them, played on the front foot, looked fitter, sharper and the goals came.
‘Everything clicked into place.
‘We’ve been a bit unlucky, gone goals behind when we shouldn’t have and confidence has been jolted.
‘Things just clicked on Saturday and everyone could see that.
‘It was always going to take time, but it’s nice for the boys to get in and get to know the place and the area and it’s all starting to gel. With results like that it is only going to help.
‘We have the ability and that’s the frustrating thing considering the way we have been halted in the past few weeks.
‘But it’s nice to get back-to-back wins in the league now.
‘We’re looking forward, it’s done, we work hard again and go from there.’
For O’Keefe, it was a second successive match he sported the captaincy during the ongoing injury absence of Brett Pitman.
The midfielder continues to have a big impact at Fratton Park during his season-long loan and he is encouraged by what lies ahead for the squad Jackett is assembling.
‘We were always comfortable, second half was a bit scrappy, inconsistent and fouls, but overall it was a comfortable win and deserved win,’ O’Keefe added.
‘Gillingham was great for the confidence. We had been quite inconsistent, so to come out with a win was the most important thing.
‘If we do well at home and put in a performance the fans will follow and get behind us, just like Saturday.
‘The whole club needs to be looking ahead, it has been a good start to the season.
‘If we can really galvanise this group and get the confidence hopefully make the play-offs.’
– NEIL ALLEN