Pompey boss: We must make possession count

Another pre-season victory, yet Kenny Jackett has urged Pompey to be more effective while dominating possession.

Sunday, 16th July 2017, 5:00 pm
Updated Tuesday, 12th September 2017, 11:52 am
Kenny Jackett. Picture: Joe Pepler

Bognor provided testing opposition at times on Saturday in largely a flat display from their League One visitors.

Although debutant Luke McGee was only drawn into one save, it was a showing from the National League South hosts to be applauded.

Certainly Jackett praised Jack Pearce’s side’s passing approach in a pre-season friendly which yielded a 2-0 Pompey victory.

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Meanwhile, the visitors were not at their best, failing to sufficiently challenge the opposition keeper – irrespective of the scoreline.

And while Jackett was pleased with how his team bossed the ball, he was concerned over the failure to make such pressure tell.

He said: ‘Obviously you want results but we had a lot of the ball and didn’t quite put them away.

‘Whether it was just a bit sticky in terms of the ball moving and the grass was quite long, I’m not sure, but I felt we needed to work that out a little bit better.

‘Particularly in the first half, we were quite intricate and didn’t really get our shots off.

‘It was breaking down too many times instead of us being in a position to be ruthless.

‘We have to work at that, work it out and hopefully put sides away quicker than we did.

‘With the amount of ball we had, we were looking to put that game away before we did. It was right open until the second goal.

‘Still, it was a solid pre-season match.’

Bognor, who stepped in late to host the fixture following problems with Eastleigh’s pitch, certainly proved the best opposition Pompey have encountered during this pre-season.

Acting manager Pearce employed former Blues right-back Calvin Davies at half-time, while ex-Academy central defender Chad Field started.

In addition, Tommy Scutt, released this summer from Fratton Park after serving out his time in the youth team, appeared late on.

They helped contribute to an occasion watched by an estimated crowd of 1,800, with Brett Pitman’s two goals settling the issue.

After opening the scoring on five minutes, it took until the 86th to put the match beyond the Rocks’ grasp.

Jackett added: ‘Fair play to Bognor, I thought they played very well and it will be interesting to see how they get on in their league this year. I am sure they will have a successful one.

‘It was a good workout and we got there in the end with a win and a clean sheet.’

Pompey now travel to Newport (IoW) on Tuesday night for their next friendly.

They will then host Premier League Bournemouth on Saturday, for what should prove to be an intriguing contest.

The final pre-season game is a trip to Crawley on Saturday, July 29, which replaced a visit to Cardiff.