Jackett: Not the Pompey end of Kal

Pompey chief executive Mark Catlin. Picture: Joe Pepler

Pompey aiming for place where normal business rules don’t apply

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Kenny Jackett is adamant the door has not been closed on Kal Naismith’s Pompey career.

But the Blues boss believes the attacking midfielder has other ‘options’ as his contract nears expiry.

The Pompey door is not closed on Kal Naismith. Picture: Joe Pepler

The Pompey door is not closed on Kal Naismith. Picture: Joe Pepler

Naismith was dropped from Pompey’s squad for Saturday’s trip to Bury – despite starting the previous nine matches.

Although fit and available, Jackett opted to remove the Scot from the match-day 18 present at Gigg Lane.

Doubts exist over the Fratton future of last season’s leading scorer having turned down fresh terms earlier in the campaign.

Pompey’s boss has not ruled out Naismith featuring in Saturday’s season finale against Peterborough.

He’ll have options at the end of the season, I’m sure, and there is a time and place to assess those and it will be from next week onwards

Kenny Jackett

Yet Jackett believes the former Accrington man has alternative offers to tempt him away from the Blues.

He said: ‘Kal is a talented player and has had good and bad spells so far this season.

‘He was very good if you are looking around Oxford and Wigan. In recent games, though, maybe not as much – and to be fair he hasn’t been on his own either.

‘We will talk to him (on his future) next week. As a club, we have talked to him all the way through the season.

‘In particular, it was publicised around January, everyone knows when people’s contracts are up and Kal’s is up this year.

‘In terms of ourselves, we will discuss that after the Peterborough game, it will be clear then what’s on the table for him, and where we fit in it, which is most important.

‘Dialogue hasn’t stopped, but it (the contract) hasn’t been signed, it hasn’t been agreed. The dialogue has been there all season, it can’t be said it hasn’t.

‘He’ll have options at the end of the season, I’m sure, and there is a time and place to assess those and it will be from next week onwards.

‘The sole focus has to be about this week and this Saturday for the club.

‘Contractually, we have plenty of time in the summer to talk through things (with all players), it will be done pretty early next week.

‘I would envisage Monday and Tuesday getting straight on with talks, but I do want to stress that is after the Peterborough game.’

COMMENT: Naismith’s Pompey days looked numbered
Naismith has represented Pompey 93 times, scoring 21 goals since arriving in the summer of 2015.

It remains to be seen if he adds to that tally on Saturday.

Jackett added: ‘I thought he just needed a break (from Bury), to be right out of it for a few days, and there’s a few playing like that.

‘I thought he needed a break right now for the weekend – and then be able to go again.

‘We will see if he features against Peterborough, he is back in and training again – as he was last week. I didn’t select him, he wasn’t injured, I just felt it was best to give him a complete break from it.

‘He has been okay for us, he himself doesn’t think in recent weeks he has been at his best, he has taken his own responsibility.’