McInnes: Kenny can cope with Pompey pressure

Pompey chairman Iain McInnes. Picture: Joe Pepler
Pompey chairman Iain McInnes. Picture: Joe Pepler
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Kenny Jackett can cope with the Fratton faithful’s expectations.

That is the verdict of Iain McInnes, who admits the 55-year-old’s previous fan experiences at Millwall and Wolves were crucial factors behind his appointment.

I think the criticism which came Paul’s way – rightly or wrongly – really hit him hard

Iain McInnes

Despite leading Pompey to the League Two title, Cook endured an erratic relationship with some sections of Pompey’s support.

McInnes concedes there were periods when that criticism pierced the shell of his manager.

Nonetheless, the vast majority of Blues followers were deeply disappointed when Cook left for Wigan.

Now Jackett has been appointed – and McInnes is convinced will be able to handle the accompanying Pompey pressure.

He said: ‘I don’t believe expectations will faze Kenny.

‘I think Paul still feels a little sensitive about the very significant level of pressure from a club which regards itself as a big club.

‘Looking at Kenny, he’s experienced that big time at Wolves and they are probably similar in comparison to Pompey from an historical point of view.

‘Meanwhile, Millwall have the raw edge of fans.

‘Combine those experiences and it will at least guard against the thing Paul found a little complicated and difficult to deal with,

‘For me, that was heavy as a pointer towards Kenny being the right guy.

‘There was a period of time around January which it was extraordinarily difficult for Paul.

‘He wears his heart on his sleeve, is a strong robust character and I got to know him very well.

‘But for all his bluster and sharp wit and a very open approach to be admired, he was not as confident as he appeared to be.

‘I think the criticism which came his way – rightly or wrongly – really hit him hard.

‘Quite a lot of work went in from me to make him feel he was more wanted than the minority said he was. And look where he took us.’

Jackett represents McInnes’ fifth and final Blues managerial appointment.

And he is relishing watching the latest man at the helm perform.

He added: ‘I have stood down as chairman but not resigned as a director, so was involved in the process – and the vote was unanimous.

‘We needed to do something relatively quickly but I don’t think that was the priority.

‘The priority was to get the right person, rather than the wrong person in quick time.

‘Mark Catlin was tasked the responsibility of drawing up a shortlist. Each and every one of us were given options to make an input on what we felt about them.

‘We had a look at Kenny’s CV, experience, knowledge base and the fact he is based in the south of England and it seemed to me he was clearly the outstanding candidate for the job – and I voted in accordance with that.’