POMPEY won’t be taking the challenge offered by Rochdale lightly.
Kenny Jackett believes his men won’t lose sight of the challenge Keith Hill’s side offer in the wake of the club’s takeover.
Rochdale have finished around the League One play-offs for the past three seasons, emphasising the kind of test they will provide in the League One opener.
Jackett said: ‘I don’t think anyone will be taking them lightly. You can look at their record and call them a well-established and top-end League One side. That’s where they’ve been – and you wouldn’t bet against them doing it again this season.
‘So, for us, it’s a good test to see where we are as we go up to a new level.’
Tom Davies is vying to start with Jack Whatmough in the league opener – and earned Jackett’s praise for his resolve shown in pre-season.
‘Credit to him. The injuries to Matt Clarke and Nathan Thompson have given Tom the games in pre-season,’ said the manager.
‘So you’d say the opportunity has come for Tom. At different times Clarke, Burgess and Thompson haven’t been around.
‘That’s given him a chance because there’s nothing like watching them in those games to assess them.
‘You do need that type of strength-in-depth.
‘He’s a whole-hearted and committed player who wants to do well in his career and do well for the club. That’s a very good start.’
– JORDAN CROSS