Boss calls on Pompey to capitalise on striker’s presence

Pompey winger Matty Kennedy Picture: Joe Pepler
Pompey winger Matty Kennedy Picture: Joe Pepler
Pompey chief executive Mark Catlin. Picture: Joe Pepler

Pompey closing in on Fratton Park friendly

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Boss calls on Pompey to capitalise on striker’s strengths

The Blues tonight host Bristol Rovers (7.45pm) in League One, with their deadline-day signing again expected to lead the line.

Although Hawkins missed a glorious first-half opportunity to net at Scunthorpe on Saturday, Jackett believes the striker’s heading ability can also help create opportunities for others.

The Blues boss was disappointed his midfielders on the flanks were subsequently unable to take advantage of the former Dagenham & Redbridge man’s distribution.

And he wants an improvement from the likes of Matty Kennedy and Jamal Lowe for the visit of a Rovers side one point and one place above Pompey in the table.

Jackett said: ‘Oli is good in the air, has a good presence and wins a high percentage.

‘At the right time it is a vehicle to get from A to B, but if he gets it on his chest or he flicks it out then it’s about what you do there.

‘At that point we weren’t onto the next ones – and our ball players then have to be able to go on and get on to the ball, pass it effectively and create and score goals. We didn’t get that.

‘Of late we have done well wide, we’ve been a threat in the wide areas, getting the ball into wide areas and getting into one-v-one situations.

‘We have been reasonably effective, scored goals and created chances off it – but it wasn’t quite there Saturday.

‘We weren’t particularly there on Saturday and have six wide men at the club, so have good options there.’

Pompey are struggling for consistency at present, suffering defeat following a victory.

They will tonight face a Pirates team without a draw all season and with the second-worst defensive record in League One.

And Jackett is concerned over the lethargy demonstrated by his side in the weekend 2-0 defeat at Glanford Park.

He added: ‘It was frustrating in the second half, we looked lethargic in that period.

‘I know these players, there was no lack of attitude to wanting to win, but the side looked lethargic in the early period as well. Defensively, we were lethargic with poor goals given away.

‘Scunthorpe held us off, they didn’t completely dominate us or wipe the floor with us, but they held us off and did enough to get the points.’