Fratton bearpit can swing play-offs Pompey’s way

Pompey chief executive Mark Catlin. Picture: Joe Pepler

Pompey closing in on Fratton Park friendly

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KENNY JACKETT believes the Fratton factor can swing the play-off chase in his side’s favour.

The Pompey boss is hoping to see Fratton Park transformed into a bear pit for today’s crucial showdown with Charlton.

Pompey boss Kenny Jackett

Pompey boss Kenny Jackett

Jackett’s side return to home comforts after three games on the road in 11 days.

Two of the Blues’ final three games are on their own patch against sides pushing for a top-six finish.

The trip to Bury punctuates today’s meeting with Charlton and the final-day visit of Peterborough.

Jackett has no doubt how big an advantage it will be for his men with Fratton rocking.

The Fratton faithful

The Fratton faithful

He said: ‘We’re pleased the promotion equation and chance to get into the Championship is still there.

‘It will be a great atmosphere against Charlton.

‘It’s good that games like this come along.

‘I’m looking forward to it. You want something on the games. You want pressure on it.

‘There should be and we should thrive on it and see it as an opportunity.

‘Fratton Park can be a key for us, both this weekend and the future, if we can unlock that potential.

‘And it’s our responsibility to do that and put on performances of commitment and quality.

‘Then the support will really kick in and be an advantage to us.

‘It’s something we have to use and we talk about it all the time internally.

‘We have to make sure we realise that potential.’

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Pompey’s last home game against Wigan showcased Fratton Park at its vibrant best in front of the Sky cameras.

The crackling atmosphere carried the Blues forward to victory against the leaders on Paul Cook’s return to his former club.

Jackett acknowledged the role supporters played on that occasion.

The 56-year-old wants to see more of the same against Lee Bowyer’s side.

But he knows it has to be the Pompey players who spark the occasion to life – and not the other way around.

‘The Wigan atmosphere was excellent, as it always is when we’ve got a chance of success,’ added Jackett.

‘The crowd can then sense improvement coming.

‘I always think it’s been good this season, even through performances which weren’t that convincing.

‘I still think the supporters at times have roused themselves, got behind us and helped us.

‘It’s not crowd-led. It has be player-led. It has to be us taking the responsibility.

‘We have to recognise the support can be a big asset for us.

‘We have to put in a performance of commitment and quality. It has to be both. Even one on their own isn’t enough.

‘The crowd will recognise both of those things and we can then get the club going in the right direction and get momentum.’