New Pompey boss ready to focus on young guns

Jack Whatmough. Picture: Joe Pepler
Jack Whatmough. Picture: Joe Pepler
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POMPEY’S new manager is ready to give youth a chance.

And Kenny Jackett has promised it will be a clean slate for his squad when they return for pre-season training.

Jackett has stressed he will put a particular focus on developing young players after succeeding Paul Cook as the new Blues boss.

The 55-year-old highlighted the changes to the transfer windows implemented last season as a key reason why it’s important to harness young talent in the ranks.

The emergency loan window was scrapped last term meaning there is now no longer any leeway for teams to make recruitments outside of the summer and winter windows.

Jackett feels that places an emphasis on harnessing the options at a club’s disposal.

And that means looking at the young blood at Pompey and encouraging the flow of prospects into the senior set-up.

The former Millwall, Wolves and Swansea boss has kept an eye on the young talent in the senior set-up like Conor Chaplin, Jack Whatmough and Ben Close.

He’s now looking to forward to seeing if they are ready to be a part of his plans moving forward.

Jackett said: ‘It may take some time, but it’s something I want to develop.

‘The young players have to be good enough and our system has to be good enough to produce young players.

‘It’s easy to say we want to produce young players. It’s having the system in place.

‘There are several names now who are on the edge of the first team.

‘I’m looking forward to working with them in pre-season and seeing if they’re ready.

‘Also, for myself, it’s about encouraging and developing those players.

‘If you can produce home-grown players that’s the best route.

‘The way things have changed with the loan window means you have to maximise what’s inside your club.

‘It’s a big thing and it swings back towards coaching.

‘While recruitment and having good contacts is a big thing, developing players inside the club is something we want to do.’

There’s been plenty of young players who found their path towards first-team minutes blocked under Cook.

Jackett stressed that they will all be judged freshly when he gets to work with his squad in pre-season.

The man who was recently working with Spurs’ Academy expects the players to be ready and prepared to catch his eye when they return to training.

He said: ‘Where are the young players now and what are they doing?

‘They should be working and getting themselves fit and stronger so they can challenge the senior players when it comes to pre-season.

‘They should be looking from day one to impress their new manager and first-team coach.

‘They have to be looking to take those older players’ positions.

‘That’s the nature of it and where it should be.

‘I hope we have those types of players in there to go on and get that shirt.’