Jackett’s demand as he weighs up Portsmouth starting XI

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Kenny Jackett is demanding professionalism from his players as he weighs up his Rochdale team selection.

The Pompey boss knows there are going to be disappointed players in his squad when he names his starting XI at Spotland tomorrow.

Brett Pitman is pushing for a start at Rochdale. Picture: Joe Pepler

Brett Pitman is pushing for a start at Rochdale. Picture: Joe Pepler

Who starts up front and partners Matt Clarke at the back are the two biggest talking points going into the game.

Brett Pitman is vying to replace Oli Hawkins up front after scoring against Wycombe last weekend - his third goal in as many appearances.

And Jack Whatmough is aiming for Christian Burgess’ place at the heart of defence, after Burgess’ late foul led to Wycombe earning a draw from the penalty spot last weekend.

Jackett knows people will be unhappy at missing out but reminded his players the Rochdale game is the start of five fixtures in 15 days.

He said: ‘I’m not going to name my team.

‘But as a manager you are always contemplating and assessing, but you pretty much know what you are going to do.

‘There’s form, injuries and general reactions for you to think about until Saturday lunchtime, whatever you do in terms of training sessions.

‘But I’m clear where I want to start at Rochdale, and I’m pleased with the options I have.

‘Again, it’s what I feel will be the right team to win this particular game.

‘It has to be a squad game if we want to be successful.

‘I’m not expecting people to be happy to be out of the team, but I do expect them to be professional.

‘Like all of us, we’re here to work for the club and get paid to put the club first.

‘Disappointment is one thing, professionalism is what is expect.’

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