Jackett: Returning stars to aid strong Pompey finish

Nathan Thompson returns following a four-match suspension
Nathan Thompson returns following a four-match suspension
Charlton boss Lee Bowyer.

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Kenny Jackett believes Pompey's decreasing absentee list can help his team produce a powerful finale to the season.

Nathan Thompson (suspension) and Gareth Evans (hamstring) are back in contention for the Blues' League One clash against Oxford tomorrow.

Currently occupying eighth place in the table - five points behind Plymouth, who sit in the final play-off position - Pompey still have an outside chance of a top-six finish.

Jackett feels his improving numbers can be a major factor over the remainder of the season.

He said: ‘The players coming back help our options, and Brett Pitman on the front line last week helped our options.

‘Thompson after suspension and Evans off the back of a hamstring injury will do the same this week.

‘I’ve noticed having three or four seniors players back has helped us in training.

‘It’s helped the competition and there’s a bit more of an edge in training, which you do need. There’s a more mature look about it.

‘Christian Burgess has trained very well after being left out, and is battling and fighting the centre-halves to get back into the team.

‘They’ll know they will have to be at their maximum to stop him getting back in.

‘We’re hopeful to get Oli Hawkins and Stuart O’Keefe back soon and not lose anymore.

‘That increases our options and gives us a better chance to build towards a strong finish.’