Pompey boss now has the flexibility to keep rivals guessing

It was the system Kenny Jackett fielded throughout the majority of last season.

Friday, 10th August 2018, 12:58 pm
Updated Tuesday, 4th September 2018, 8:20 pm
Pompey boss Kenny Jackett Picture: Andrew Fosker

And the tried-and-tested 4-2-3-1 formation could well make a return when Pompey travel to Blackpool tomorrow.

For the Blues' final pre-season match of the summer against Utrecht and in last week's curtain-raiser victory over Luton, the manager rolled out a traditional 4-4-2 set up.

It included Ronan Curtis and Brett Pitman spearheading Pompey's attack, while Brandon Haunstrup featured in a left-midfield role.

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Pompey boss Kenny Jackett Picture: Andrew Fosker

As steely and resolute the Blues' win over the Hatters was, there was a dearth of pace going forward.

Nathan Jones' defence had no fears they'd be beaten for speed when the ball came their hosts' way.

As a result, it allowed them to squeeze up, play a high line and put pressure on Pompey.

That no doubt it would have been an aspect of their game that concerned Jackett.

Pompey new-boy David Wheeler brings pedigree

But David Wheeler's arrival this week should remedy that problem.

It's likely the manager will want to get the QPR loanee, Pitman, Curtis, and Jamal Lowe into his starting line-up at Bloomfield Road.

All possess potent attacking qualities '“ representing a four-pronged arsenal that would cause serious problems for Blackpool's rearguard.

As dogged as Haunstrup was down the left against Luton, helping Lee Brown out with defensive duties, he's not an out-and-out attacker. 

When Curtis first arrived at Fratton Park, he was earmarked to fill the left-wing berth and delivered numerous eye-catching displays during pre-season.

The way the Irishman surged into the box to create the Blues' match-winner against the Hatters displayed the ability he has to beat defenders in tight situations.

And with Curtis reverting to the left, that would mean a right-wing spot and debut for Wheeler.

Pompey fans know all about his prowess from his time at Exeter, having netted twice at Fratton Park.

Jackett believes the Brighton-born talent will increase his side's goalscoring threat.

And given the fact Wheeler netted 21 goals during his final campaign with the Grecians, that's likely to be the case.

Lowe, meanwhile, has transformed himself into the Blues' chief attacking outlet and is almost shoo-in when fit '“ as we saw last week against the Hatters, after making a shock return from injury. 

Having played wide for the majority of his PO4 career, a No10 spot could potentially be his new remit.

Pompey failed to capture the pacy striker they wanted during the transfer window, although they're still looking to utilise the loan market.

In the meantime, Lowe's raw speed could mean he's the ideal player to compliment Pitman.

The former Hampton & Richmond ace and team captain struck up a solid understanding of each other's game last term.

For the majority, it was Lowe who was the provider. 

But the roles noticably reversed in the friendly win over Cork.

The skipper's perfectly-weighted chip found the path of the ex-Barnet man, who found the back of the net. 

Jackett may opt not to change a winning formula at Blackpool following a gritty victory against Luton.

But the Pompey boss certainly now has the scope to revert back to last season's favoured formation if desired.