How the shape of Pompey’s promotion bid has formed

Pompey boss Kenny Jackett. Picture: Joe Pepler
Pompey boss Kenny Jackett. Picture: Joe Pepler
Radio presenter Rick Jackson has worked for the biggest stations in the south PICTURE: Allan Hutchings (084710-538)

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Kenny Jackett has stated 24 will be his magic Pompey number.

That is the ideal squad size the Blues boss would like to call upon in his effort to get his team out of League One.

With two weeks until his players return for pre-season training he’s now approaching his target.

Lee Brown’s arrival this week takes Jackett’s number to 21 in quick time.

The incoming Anton Walkes makes it 22, with the five signings to date moving Pompey towards the balance, depth and versatility their manager craves for his second season at the helm.

Two players in every position, a third goalkeeper and a supplementary striker is the perfect scenario outlined by Jackett in an end-of-season interview.

A look at Pompey’s current squad sheet shows they are possibly an attacking player light on achieving that ambition, with bringing in some additional pace up front now the focus.

Brett Pitman, Conor Chaplin and Oli Hawkins are the out-and-out striking options at present, with Louis Dennis and Ronan Curtis flexible additions.

Chaplin’s Fratton Park future remains in the balance, with it no secret the home-grown favourite won’t settle for another season of relative inactivity.

The fact Brown’s signing means there are now three left-backs on the books offers a clue to how Jackett will fine-tune his options.

Donohue could be considered a versatile squad member but it may well be Brandon Haunstrup is seen as a candidate to loan out.

And it’s in the loan market where Pompey can definitively get to the options they want to take on the nine months ahead, with youngsters Matt Casey and Dan Smith’s suitability for the first-team squad to be assessed in pre-season.

There’s little doubt the outline of Pompey’s League One charge has formed.