Jackett delivers damning assessment of Pompey’s set-pieces

Christian Burgess came close to scoring for Pompey with a header from a cross on Saturday Picture: Joe Pepler
Christian Burgess came close to scoring for Pompey with a header from a cross on Saturday Picture: Joe Pepler
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KENNY JACKETT demanded Pompey up their set-piece threat.

The Blues boss has delivered a damning assessment of his side’s quality from corners and attacking free-kicks this term.

And he believes his team haven’t threatened nearly enough from attacking dead-ball positions.

Jackett feels Pompey are coming up short in terms of both quality and the determination to get on the end of crosses.

He said: ‘Too many times our delivery is coming down outside the posts. We don’t do enough with them.

‘It’s leaving us with too much to do to score.

‘There was one good moment in the second half on Saturday when the keeper came and didn’t get anywhere near it from a Donohue corner. Burgess headed it on to the top of the goal.

‘That was probably the best chance, because of the position of the keeper.

‘But, generally, we need our service to be getting up and down into the goalscoring area between the posts.

‘It’s a basic of taking set-pieces.

‘Our delivery and attacking the ball hasn’t been good enough so far this season.

‘We’ve had a high number of wide free-kicks and corners and haven’t capitalised on it.

‘We haven’t had enough understanding, quality of delivery or aggression to head it in.’

The Blues saw the value of set-pieces in a finely-balanced game against Bradford on Saturday – and Jackett feels that’s a lesson for his players to learn.

He added: ‘We lost a goal on Saturday from a very good ball in from Tony McMahon and a key header from Matt Kilgallon.

‘I think for McMahon that’s now eight assists from right-back.

‘He also put in a key ball from a wide free-kick in the first half, which Romain Vincelot headed over after Jamal Lowe got just enough of a body on him.

‘There was good service from free-kicks and then being determined to get on the end of them.

‘It’s something we have to do as well. We get enough wide free-kicks and corners. That was certainly the case on Saturday.

‘McMahon had it on two occasions. One of them was crucial and got them the three points.

‘On Saturday, in a reasonably good performance from us, it was that kind of key moment which decided it.’