Finally back on Portsmouth turf, but boss won’t overplay home comforts

Kenny Jackett's side return to Fratton Park for League One action against Walsall - after 36 days. Picture: Daniel Chesterton/phcimages.com
Kenny Jackett's side return to Fratton Park for League One action against Walsall - after 36 days. Picture: Daniel Chesterton/phcimages.com
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Following a 36-day absence, League One football returns to Fratton Park.

Yet Kenny Jackett has played down the significance of the resumption of home football as his side continue to set the promotion pace.

Pompey’s club-record unbeaten away run stretches to 12 matches following the weekend 2-1 success at Scunthorpe.

Now attention returns to Fratton Park, a venue which last hosted league action on October 23 against Burton.

When compared to their stunning form on the road, the Blues’ home results are bound to fall short.

Jackett, though, feels people shouldn’t become too engrossed in analysing home and away advantages.

He said: ‘A lot of people, the media in particular, differentiate home and away, but my approach is the same.

‘I feel you should be able to win wherever you play.

‘We now have a run of games in quick succession and a high number of them are home where we are very well supported and want to put on a good show and do everything to get the fans behind us.

‘People analyse it, traditionally home records are better than away ones, so there must be something in terms of referees and generally the feel-good factor for the players being at home.

‘But preparation doesn’t change in terms of home or away, while you always need to win your next game in professional football.

‘Still, overall we have done pretty well, 41 points is a great return wherever they have come from, and against Walsall we’ll have a crowd that will get behind us, wanting to encourage us.

‘That’s a great advantage for us and something we should thrive on, taking the responsibility to put on the type of performance to get them off their seats.

‘As ever, you look forward very quickly, sum up the situation of the next opposition, and hopefully then look forward with confidence.’

Walsall are presently 11th in League One, with one win from their past six matches.

They were also denied victory over 10-man Sunderland at the weekend, courtesy of the visitors’ last-gasp leveller.

Jackett added: ‘Walsall have done well this season and will be pushing for the top six themselves.

‘They have recruited well in the summer and have a well-balanced team with a lot of energy.

‘It will be a good side turning up, they were unlucky not to win against Sunderland.’