KENNY JACKETT warned Pompey their standards can’t slip if they are to continue their charge up the table.
The Blues welcome bottom-of-the-table Bury to Fratton Park tomorrow as they look to continue their impressive form.
Jackett’s men are aiming to make it seven wins out of eight against a Shakers side who haven’t won on the road in the league since February.
Pompey impressed as they defeated play-off-chasing Charlton on their own patch last weekend.
Jackett feels his team set a standard with the win at The Valley, and even a drop in standards by a small margin will be costly against Chris Lucketti’s side.
He said: ‘You need to get the details right.
‘We’ve got more of those right than wrong of late.
‘We’ve improved as a team. That can give you an edge.
‘But if you drop below the standards you set, and you only need to come off it five per cent, it can be the difference between winning and losing.
‘They’re small margins and small percentages.
‘Our output has to remain very high.’
Jackett pinpointed attacking areas as a place where the Blues have gained in performance levels through their recent upturn in form.
He feels the fact his team has a goal threat on the pitch from a number of different areas is proving useful.
Jackett added: ‘We realise when we were losing we needed to find another five or 10 per cent.
‘You can say that sometimes it’s in the finishing. You need more finishers out there.
‘I watch some sides, they have chances but miss them.
‘So you’re looking at the quality of your players finishing-wise and the nature of your selection.
‘A good thing to do in terms of squad planning is look through your team in pre-season and see where the goals are.
‘Who has scored? If you’ve got a squad of players and there’s not that many people in there with goalscoring records, you can’t be surprised if you don’t score any goals.
‘Sometimes it’s the nature of the team you put out.
‘We try to put a forward player in the number 10 slot. Our wide players have been offensive so far.
‘That’s helped us at key times in terms of goalscoring.
‘Also, our substitutions are vital. You need goals on your bench to change tight games.
‘We’re looking at all those aspects to make sure it’s us five per cent above the line and not below it.’
Jackett is happy with the balance of his team in the final game at Fratton Park before Christmas.
The manager feels he’s now closer to getting what he wants of them at both ends of the pitch.
‘Most managers in whatever system you like pick four defenders, three midfielder and three forwards,’ he said.
‘That’s where it ends up balancing off so you respect all the thirds.
‘If you have too many final-third players the problem is you won’t get there on a regular basis.’