Jackett highlights issue which can aid fast start to season

Louis Dennis got down to business as the Pompey players returned to pre-season training on Wednesday. Picture: Habibur Rahman
Louis Dennis got down to business as the Pompey players returned to pre-season training on Wednesday. Picture: Habibur Rahman
Pompey boss Kenny Jackett

Jackett: Ireland stay can bring Pompey closer together

Jamal Lowe during pre-season training.

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KENNY JACKETT believes his quickfire recruitment can help Pompey hit the ground running next season.

And the Blues boss has outlined a desire to avoid sending his senior players out on loan to keep his squad at an optimum number.

Jackett has moved quickly to carry out his signings, with five additions swiftly brought in since the end of the campaign.

Louis Dennis, Ronan Curtis, Craig MacGillivray, Tom Naylor and Lee Brown are the new faces who linked up with the squad for pre-season training on Wednesday.

Jackett is actively pursuing an additional striker, while Anton Walkes is expected to arrive from Spurs before the start of the season.

There is also the possibility of landing a loan or two before the close of the loan window on August 31.

But the bulk of the squad is already together – and that’s a big plus point for Jackett.

The Pompey boss feels that is beneficial as he now has five-and-a-half weeks to get his ideas across to the players before the season begins on August 4.

Jackett said: ‘It’s what we wanted to do.

‘We’ve worked hard in terms of recruitment.

‘The second phase is now the coaching.

‘You’d always want that time with them. Whether we could supplement that number with one or two loans, we’ll see.

‘The bulk of it is done now, though.

‘But the job now is to use the pre-season period to get everyone in, focussed and get them ready.

‘We need them mentally and physically ready for August 4.’

Jackett is currently working with a squad of 21 senior players, as Pompey begin preparing for their attempt to reach the Championship at the second attempt.

Additionally, there’s third-year scholars Matt Casey and Dan Smith who are now working with the first-team group.

Jackett will look to send the pair out on loan to gain experience, along with young keeper Alex Bass.

But the Pompey boss has no intention of farming anyone else out, and would prefer to add to his numbers.

‘I don’t think we will (loan out any outfield senior players),’ he added.

‘Casey and Smith are third-year scholars who will need to go out on loan.

‘I’m open-minded about where they go if they are starting enough, rather than on the fringes.

‘I don’t necessarily see them as part of the first-team group, though, at the moment.

‘In terms of the others, I’m looking for them to gel as a group.

‘I’d like to work up to 23 or 24 players. There’s always a bit of a grey area if the likes of Smith or Casey come on quickly, they can get into that area.

‘You want to be in and around that number, though, and now we have the vast majority.

‘So I wouldn’t be looking necessarily to trim that, to be honest.’