Naylor: Blues can thrive from different training focus

Jamal Lowe, left, and Nicke Kabamba with the League Two title. Picture: Joe Pepler

Jamal Lowe’s relishing battle against Nicke Kabamba when Pompey face the Hawks 

Cork has served Pompey well, the six-day Irish stay now at an end.

And Tom Naylor has revelled in the early pre-season training schedule implemented by his new club.

Pompey midfielder Tom Naylor

Pompey midfielder Tom Naylor

The Blues today head back to the south coast following a gruelling fitness programme across the Irish sea.

Their duration at the Fota Island Hotel consisted of a friendly against Cork City, double training sessions and no day off as Kenny Jackett focused on hard work and preparation.

For summer recruit Naylor, the attention to ball work, in particular, has been a breath of fresh air.

And the former Burton midfielder is highly impressed by the Pompey boss’ approach.

Pompey manager Kenny Jackett Picture: Colin Farmery

Pompey manager Kenny Jackett Picture: Colin Farmery

He said: ‘We’ve worked hard every day in training, as you would expect in pre-season.

‘There has been more football, which is more realistic, it has been match related - although we have done a bit of running in-between training sessions.

‘In my experience, that amount of ball work is not really usual, but times are changing now, people look at it differently.

‘The gaffer has been there and done that with the experience he’s got managing big clubs and that’s how he works. It gets us fit, always moving, always running about playing football, it’s good.

‘At Burton last year under Nigel Clough we were going around doing park runs and track runs, it was the old-school side of things, that’s just how different managers work.

‘Nigel Clough is different to the manager, he likes to take players for park runs in the morning sessions and then there’s football afternoon – but the gaffer likes it differently.

‘It’s nice to have this pre-season different to the ones I’ve experienced over the last couple of years and I’m really enjoying it.’

Naylor is earmarked for a Pompey holding-midfield role following his arrival from Burton.

He made 134 appearances, scoring 13 times, for the Pirelli Stadium club, which suffered relegation from the Championship last term.

And at the age of 27, the former Derby man has experience of plenty of pre-season tours.

He added: ‘We’ve worked on shape and it's always great to know what the gaffer wants.

‘I’m slowly settling into how he wants me to play, I’m getting used to it.’