Jackett: Fourth place now open to Pompey

Jackett: Going on the road holds no fear for Pompey

Ben Close. Picture: Joe Pepler

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HE’S HAD his sights trained on two play-off spots.

But Kenny Jackett believes the battle to reach the top six could be opening up – with fourth now up for grabs.

The Pompey boss has been stating of late it’s fifth and sixth which are the two slots available to his team this term.

Rotherham’s stuttering form, however, means the Blues’ target positions could be broadening.

After going 14 games unbeaten, the Millers have won one of their past six games.

That leaves Paul Warne’s side five points in front of Pompey with six matches left this term.

Jackett stressed his team can’t afford to rely on other teams failing as the season reaches fever pitch.

But he does see another berth now potentially being available to his men.

Jackett said: ‘Perhaps (fourth is open). We’re a lot closer and more optimistic than we were, so perhaps yes.

‘Certainly play-off places plural are available for us – that’s if we get our form right.

‘We need to play well, compete and continue to find a way of winning.

‘That can happen, but there’s a few teams in there. I do think some of the sides are going to get it right.

‘Maybe it won’t be all of them but, four or five if you’re looking at the teams in and around the play-offs and on the fringes, will.

‘Some of them will get it right so you can’t be relying on other people falling away.

‘You have to set the bar high yourself and do everything you can to get there.

‘I do think the points will come for some side – and we have to make sure it’s us.’

Jackett afforded credit to his players for staying in touch with the play-off picture for long periods of the season.

It looks set to be a dramatic finish, however, with a single point between five of the sides aiming for promotion this term

He said: ‘We’ve always been in touch with the play-offs through the season.

‘Once or twice, after the Northampton game at the end of December, we were genuinely sixth with there being no games in hand.

‘At different times we’ve been in there. We’ve been flirting with the play-offs for most of the season and within touching distance.

‘The total has never been too far away and we’re still in that position now, albeit it’s tighter for a number of months.

‘Over the season it’s been very competitive and an excellent division to be part of.’