THE PROSPECT of making the play-offs is one Kenny Jackett refuses to write off.
But there’s another key factor why the Pompey boss is demanding the season doesn’t meander to a disappointing close with nine games left.
The Blues manager knows a strong finale is needed to generate optimism about where the team is headed moving forward.
Jackett is fully aware fans need a reason to renew their season-tickets next term and believe their team can challenge to make the Championship, if, as seems likely, it doesn’t happen this time.
New faces will be needed to achieve that, but Jackett wants those already present to show they can be a part of things moving forward.
Jackett said: ‘I’d want the supporters to think it’s a bright, young group.
‘There’s the potential in the summer to strengthen in the right areas.
‘We will need to do both.
‘The players we have, mainly young players on a upward curve, they have to finish the season strong and show whether they are good enough.
‘From our point of view, we have to add the right players in the summer who can complement them, help them and bring out the best in them. In terms of supporter optimism going into next year, it’s important they see the finish and they see the right signings in the summer.’
Jackett feels Pompey are still in the play-off chase, and the key factor in that is just four drawn league games this term – the lowest total in league.
He said: ‘We’ve had very few draws throughout the season, and that’s the reason we’ve been in touching distance still.
‘We’ve had bad spells.
‘In the last eight games, they’ve been particularly disappointing at home with one point out of a possible 12.
‘Away from home, though, we’ve got nine points out of 12 which is promotion form.
‘So it’s kept us within touching distance with nine games to go, which we are.’
– JORDAN CROSS