POMPEY’S new arrivals are not being favoured over their title-winners.
Supporters have been told Kenny Jackett does not have his favoured players, as he aims to make his mark at Fratton Park.
Jackett’s assistant, Joe Gallen, dismissed the notion the Blues manager is leaning towards his signings over the men who carried their team into League One.
Danny Rose, Kal Naismith and Gareth Evans all impressed on their league returns in the win against Blackpool.
Rose and Naismith had not started a league game since August – with Evans getting one league outing in that time.
Gallen insisted there were no preferences as Nathan Thompson and Stuart O’Keefe come back into contention for this weekend’s meeting with Southend at Fratton Park.
He said: ‘With Danny Rose, Kal Naismith and Gareth Evans, they played a huge part in what was a successful season.
‘It’s not that they haven’t played this season. They haven’t played recently.
‘So there’s nothing wrong in them having a point to prove. They want to play and have to prove a point to who picks the team.
‘I know Kenny Jackett very well and there’s no grudges with him.
‘If he signs a player and they do well, they’ll play. If they’re not doing well, they’ll soon be dropped.
‘There’s no favourites with Kenny Jackett. There’s no favouritism. These lads have a point to prove and want to prove the point they deserve to play.
‘Danny is an intelligent person, Kal is very nice and has a bit to say with his banter, while Gareth has been around a long time and is serious about his work.
‘Nathan and Stuart are two lads who have played a lot this season. Both have put in decent performances.
‘They have played well in their Pompey careers.
‘All the injuries have dried up and they are all out there competing.
‘Usually when you get the competition right on the training ground and right in terms of competing, that helps in terms of performance level.’
Jackett explained he’s been impressed with the attitude shown by the trio as they fight for their chance.
He said: ‘Some of them have played. Some of them like Burgess and Clarke have been in all of the time. Others have been on the fringes.
‘In midfield areas we have seen one or two younger lads get on a run in the team as well.
‘We have seen what we wanted. Some have got a chance who’ve not had many minutes or game time lately.
‘They have responded in the right way, showing a good attitude and putting in good performances and showing they want to play for this football club. That’s exactly what you want.
‘They will be looking to play. Players like Kal, Danny and Gareth are looking for chances and opportunities.’