Jackett: Refreshed Portsmouth striker can deliver what I want

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A rejuvenated Brett Pitman has been backed to be central to Pompey’s success this season.

Kenny Jackett has no doubt his arch poacher can provide the link-up play he’s demanding from his strikers.

Brett Pitman is set to start at Coventry. Picture: Joe Pepler

Brett Pitman is set to start at Coventry. Picture: Joe Pepler

Pitman is set to continue at Coventry after impressing with a man-of-the-match display at Rochdale on Saturday.

The 30-year-old scored one goal and made another on his first league outing for eight weeks at Spotland.

Jackett feels the striker has offered a freshness coming back into his starting XI.

And the Blues boss has challenged his skipper to maintain the standards he’s set.

Pompey boss Kenny Jackett. Picture: Joe Pepler

Pompey boss Kenny Jackett. Picture: Joe Pepler

Jackett said: ‘Brett’s been out of the side and shown a good response to not playing as much as last season so far.

‘I do think we’ve benefitted from that freshness as well.

‘The bit he does bring is goalscoring and it’s terrific. Don’t underestimate that.

‘I don’t underestimate that but I also know unless your centre-forward gets hold of the ball you aren’t going to get up and around the box enough times for him to score.

‘Many goalscorers are in the same situation. If you get the ball in the box enough they will score. That’s 100 per cent the case.

‘Similarly, there’s a process to getting the ball into the final third. There’s a process to getting into the opposition’s box with quality.

‘That does result in players needing to be good enough to move us up the pitch on a regular basis.

‘He’s on good form and set some good standards.

‘As ever, when you’re striker like Brett, your confidence comes from goalscoring.’

Jackett has been demanding more from Pitman’s all-round game this season, and feels that he showed at Rochdale he can contribute plenty to his side’s general play.

He added: ‘He played well and it was a key second goal, which was very well taken.

‘You can’t underestimate that, but, overall his build-up play was good.

‘That’s something he has to keep doing.

‘When he does contribute we look a better side.

‘He has the ability to get hold of the ball and bring people into the game.

‘A platform, with the way we play, is needed.

‘Whether it’s Oli Hawkins or Brett, with their back to goal they do need win headers, get hold of the ball and make it stick.

‘They need to make sure they can be the start of our constructive moves.

‘Generally when we get the ball into him with quality we can attack with pace and get behind sides. We have that ability.

‘On Saturday, I was pleased with his overall contribution. He won headers brought people into the game and got hold of the ball.

‘He wasn’t trying any flicks, wasn’t loose with possession and got across his defender.

‘In the system we play it’s vital our centre-forward does that.’