Pompey boss on keeping faith with title-winning system
A new managerial set-up and influx of squad additions, yet Kenny Jackett believes Pompey's core playing values have barely altered.
Paul Cook rarely strayed from his favoured 4-2-3-1 system during a successful two years on the south coast.
His replacement has retained that formation – and led the Blues to a current League One standing of seventh.
Members of the old guard, including Christian Burgess, Matt Clarke, Danny Rose, Gareth Evans and Kyle Bennett, have remained involved in this fresh regime.
Certainly they are familiar with the system Jackett has opted to keep in place.
There has been tinkering, of course, noticeably the full-backs being less adventurous and a quicker attacking style.
Nonetheless, Jackett is adamant the approach, in essence, has not been subjected to any overhaul.
He said: ‘Maybe the players have had to learn to a degree but I think the basic set-up of the system has been pretty much the same in terms of where people go.
‘I personally would want to attack and counter-attack very quickly. I don’t think it’s long, I don’t think it’s short, it’s quickly.
‘The best way of doing that is having pace, pace running with the ball. Whether you get there in 10 passes or one, it doesn’t matter.
‘If you can attack quickly that is the most devastating form of attack and if the spaces are there, particularly with a defender being slightly out of position, people attacking you quickly is very hard to defend against.
‘With full-backs attacking, it depends how much you are on top. If you are on top and get to that stage where more and more men go high, wide and forward you would do that definitely because you can control a game and push people on.
‘It depends on the standard you are playing in and how much you can impose yourself on any opposition.
‘It is a similar set-up from last year’s football.’
Cook, of course, now manages Wigan, who currently top League One.
They stand four points clear with a goal difference of 30 to put themselves firmly on track for an instant Championship return.
Familiar faces Noel Hunt and Gary Roberts are playing largely substitute roles during the promotion push.
Hunt has yet to start a league game, with five appearances from the bench, while Roberts has two league starts and nine substitute outings.
Jackett added: ‘Looking at Wigan, going forward they are devastating, the pace they have in the front areas is very good when you see the goals they are scoring.’