Pompey boss: Right time for Bennett to depart

Kenny Jackett insists it was the '˜right time' for Kyle Bennett's Pompey departure.

Friday, 2nd February 2018, 11:00 am
Kyle Bennett left Pompey on transfer deadline day

The 27-year-old has joined League One rivals Bristol Rovers – within hours of his release from Fratton Park.

Bennett made 117 appearances for the Blues, scoring 13 times, yet had fallen behind others in the battle for a left-sided first-team spot.

The former Doncaster man was also among the club’s top earners following the three-year contract he signed in May under Paul Cook.

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And Jackett felt Bennett’s mutually-agreed departure was the best outcome for all concerned.

He said: ‘Kyle plays in an area in which we have a number of wide people in.

‘There are those four options which, at the moment, have been ahead of him. I have Lowe and Evans for the right-hand side and Kennedy and Naismith for the left.

‘This was the chance for him to go out and get game time – and for us the right time to free up some budget to be able to strengthen other areas.

‘Bristol Rovers were very keen to take him on a permanent and when that opportunity came it was a good one for us.

‘To strengthen in other areas at the right time we have to make decisions. When the opportunity comes up you have to use your budget accordingly.

‘Kyle’s had opportunities, we’ve played him in a variety of roles, such as 11, 10, 7 positions, and he had the freedom to move. He did okay for us.

‘We wish him all the best, he was part of the promotion side last year – and a played a very big part.’

Joining Bennett in departing Pompey on transfer deadline day was fellow left-sided player Milan Lalkovic.

The June 2016 arrival from Walsall totalled only 18 appearances and one goal during a frustrating time on the south coast.

With six months remaining on his deal, his early release was also negotiated.

Jackett added: ‘It hasn’t quite happened for Milan, not just in my time but over a couple of seasons.

‘Admittedly, it is due to injury. I don’t think it’s ability or attitude, but he’s had that sort of stop/start time over the last couple of years so has been tough to get his career going.

‘He had a good pre-season, I was impressed with him, but it was a frustration he couldn’t follow that on.

‘Similarly to last year, he just hasn’t been able to get that first-team shirt for one reason or another. We wish him all the best for the future.’