Points occupy Portsmouth boss’ focus – not position

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It’s points not positions for Kenny Jackett as he attempts to mastermind Pompey promotion progress.

The Blues reside at the top of League One heading into Saturday’s visit of Wycombe.

Pompey boss Kenny Jackett

Pompey boss Kenny Jackett

Albeit still in September, that lofty perch is accompanied by a raising of expectation and slight increase in pressure.

Jackett, of course, has been in such a scenario before, having overseen promotion at Swansea, Millwall and Wolves earlier in his managerial career.

And, for him, Pompey’s points tally of 20 takes precedence over where they currently sit after eight matches. 

He said: ‘I don’t really take too much on being top at the moment. The points total is a big one.

‘We’ve got 20 points from eight games, that’s very good. We can all see and study history and estimate what’s needed to be there or thereabouts by the end of the season.

‘Generally, managers or people in football would say it’s 50 points to stay up and then start moving forward from there.

‘Perhaps into the 70s for the play-offs and 80-85-plus for the top two. They have traditionally been around the benchmarks.

‘We have 20 points at the moment. Depending on how you then look at the expectation level, we have to say that’s a very good return.

‘We’ve had to work very hard in all of the games to get there, some very close games, and are not expecting anything differently on Saturday or in the future.

‘Certainly, it won't be easy for us, we have to work towards our very best and wherever we can improve to get any points out of any game.

‘If there’s expectation I think that’s good, it means you are a good club.

‘We are at an excellent club and there’s expectation for this club, that’s absolutely fine.

‘Inside you have to be realistic about how you go about things – but also be optimistic about where you get to.’

Pompey have won six and drawn two of their opening matches of the League One campaign.

And Jackett is adamant the Blues’ camp continues to be grounded.

He added: ‘I’m sure there have been cases where players have been carried away but, for myself and the players, all we have to worry about is the next game.

‘We know recent history of the games we’ve played, we know how hard some of the matches have been. There are some very good teams in this league, different tests for you.

‘The last two weeks have shown a very good example in Shrewsbury at home and Peterborough away.

‘You have to be ready for both, overcome both, and have an attitude you are going to earn every single point you get.’