Jackett: Pompey can become major force

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Kenny Jackett has insisted Pompey have the capabilities to become a force to be reckoned with in League One.

But the Blues boss knows his side must handle the pressure of playing against the division’s top sides.

After spending four seasons in the Football League’s bottom tier, Pompey achieved promotion to League One.

With Michael Eisner’s takeover now complete, the Blues are now back on the march up the Football League ladder after sinking as far as 16th in the basement division in 2015.

And Jackett feels his side can make an impact in League One.

He said: ‘It’s exactly what everyone at this club wanted.

‘We want to get up there and, as a club, Portsmouth are capable of being a good side in this division.

‘At the moment, we are in progress of making that.

‘But it is not out of the realms of possibility that we can become a major force. It is the reason I came to manage here.

‘Four years for the club was far too long in League Two.

‘We needed to move out of the league.

‘They did well last year to get over the line and now we want to test ourselves against better teams, players and clubs.’

Paul Cook released Pompey from the shackles of League Two.

However, after achieving title glory, he left for today’s opponents Wigan Athletic in May.

The Latics have been receiving parachute payments from the Premier League after their relegation in 2013.

It subsequently means they have one of the largest playing budgets in the division.

By contrast, the Blues have just a £3m playing budget for the 2017-18 campaign – which puts them in the bottom half of the third-tier hierarchy.

As well as the visit to Cook’s Wigan, the Blues also have to prepare for trips to Blackburn, Rotherham and Bradford later in the campaign.

Now playing against clubs who hold larger statures and budgets, Jackett has called on his troops to meet the demands of their new division and swiftly adapt.

‘We are now playing against teams who were in the Championship last season, while we were in League Two,’ the Pompey boss added.

‘We have got to be capable of handling those occasions.

‘That is naturally what is going to happen against better clubs.

‘Then, on a weekly basis, we have got to be able to pick up points against them.

‘Blackburn and Wigan have looked strong so far but League One can be quite an open division, generally.

‘You would look at the likes of Bradford, Scunthorpe and Fleetwood, who were up there last season, and they do not look any weaker this campaign.’