Formation a factor on mind of Pompey boss

Pompey boss Kenny Jackett Picture: Joe Pepler
Pompey boss Kenny Jackett Picture: Joe Pepler
Pompey defender Nathan Thompson

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KENNY JACKETT will tinker with Pompey’s formation between now and the start of the season.

The Blues boss has promised he will look at utilising different approaches in his team’s warm-up games as they go to Poole tonight.

Jackett will give several of his first team a runout at the Black Gold Stadium (7.30pm kick-off).

And the 55-year-old has indicated he will look at operating with a variety of formations ahead of the big League One kick-off against Rochdale on August 5.

Pompey have gone with a 4-2-3-1 set-up in their two pre-season fixtures to date against Salisbury and the Hawks.

It’s the approach predominantly used under Paul Cook on the way to the League Two title.

Despite the success, there was some criticism for operating with a single orthodox striker from Blues fans.

Jackett is known to favour playing with two men up front – a fact borne out in his managerial career to date.

Kal Naismith and Conor Chaplin have been used in attack in the two games so far.

Jackett will look at alternatives to the way he’s gone to date, with three at the back another approach to consider.

The Pompey boss said the balance of his team is something to consider, although he’s not averse to using left-footed players on the right side of the pitch.

Jackett explained there is a lot for him to weigh up for his squad.

He said: ‘I will look at other options.

‘It’s a time to weigh up strengths, weaknesses and having left-footers in the right positions.

‘The boy (Matt) Clarke does give you a lot of options in terms of changing the formation when you need to.

‘Some people take to playing on the wrong side very well. It helps them, while for others it doesn’t.

‘I’m not one to say you don’t cross over.

‘It’s an option during the game and it works for certain players.

‘Forwards can get into good shooting positions when they cut inside that way.

‘It’s an obvious one but it’s true.’

The Poole game is one of five remaining pre-season fixtures for the Blues with 25 days until the new campaign.

Pompey go to Bognor on Saturday, before travelling to the Isle of Wight to take on Newport next Tuesday.

Preparations are then ramped up with Premier League Bournemouth coming to Fratton Park on July 22.

The Blues round off their pre-season with a trip to Crawley on July 29, after the Cardiff friendly was axed following the draw for the Carabao Cup.

Poole should provide a decent test of the credentials of Jackett’s side after finishing fifth in National League South last term.

Many of the Pompey players used in the 6-0 win at Westleigh Park will be given another runout, with the squad supplemented by youngsters.

Jackett added: ‘We have Poole which will be a first-team game with several professionals playing.

‘Several of the boys who played at Havant will play. Quite a lot, in fact.

‘We’ll mix it up with some of them involved. It won’t be a youth-team game.

‘Then we go on to Eastleigh and look at the others.’