Pompey boss keen to boost attacking options

KENNY JACKETT has made adding to Pompey's attacking options a transfer priority.

Saturday, 19th May 2018, 7:00 am
Updated Friday, 8th June 2018, 8:35 am
Brett Pitman finished the season as Pompey's top scorer with 25 goals

The Blues boss believes strengthening his front line is a key area of focus this summer.

And Jackett believes he needs as many as seven players to call upon when selecting the players who will give his side goal threat next term.

It’s understood additional pace is viewed as a must, as the 56-year-old looks to bolster his squad in the final third.

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Brett Pitman finished the season as Pompey's top scorer with 25 goals

Brett Pitman shouldered the responsibility of providing Pompey’s goal threat, and bagged 25 goals in all competitions this season.

Oli Hawkins and Jamal Lowe were a fair distance behind the Blues skipper on eight goals apiece.

Nicke Kabamba was released last week, leaving Conor Chaplin as Jackett’s remaining out-and-out attacking option.

The fans’ favourite’s future remains in doubt, after finding playing time increasingly difficult to come by this season.

Jackett saw his formation at the end of last term as an attacking three, with the likes of Lowe and Kal Naismith, who’s since left the club, either side of Pitman.

With five players who can currently fill those roles, he knows it’s an area which needs bolstering.

Jackett said: ‘Right across our front three it’s something we need to address, if you like, in terms of options.

‘The system we’re currently playing with, we’ve got the likes of Pitman, Hawkins, Chaplin, Lowe and Gareth Evans who can play there, but I’ve talked about bringing Gareth inside.

‘We will need more options in terms of our front three.

‘You want as many options as you can, particularly the front line.

‘You can’t just rely on two or three people to go through an entire season.

‘It has to be five, six or seven for the front three.’

Pompey currently have 16 players in the first-team squad, with Christian Oxlade-Chamberlain needing to prove his fitness after breaking his leg.

Anton Walkes remains a favoured option of those loanees who were brought into the club last season.

Jackett knows getting the right balance of youth and experience will prove important when doing his business.

He added: ‘Since the close of the last window we’ve said we’ve want to build as strong a squad as possible.

‘Some of that work is done internally by signing the players we’ve wanted to keep.

‘Having Walkes in midfield helped. That was quite a good spell of results for us when he played in front of the back four.

‘It certainly helped us going both ways, so there’s different ways and combinations.

‘But if you have one or two younger players, of course, an experienced one and a complement, then that will help them to come on.

‘Balance, position, youth, experience, hunger, durability of the squad – and in the end out-and-out good players is what we’re looking for.’