Pompey boss backs Pitman’s passion to succeed

Brett Pitman's frustration was obvious when he was substituted at Rotherham. Picture: Joe Pepler
Brett Pitman's frustration was obvious when he was substituted at Rotherham. Picture: Joe Pepler
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Kenny Jackett has backed Brett Pitman’s passion for Pompey.

The Blues boss insists he is not concerned over his skipper’s public display of frustration following his substitution at Rotherham.

Pompey boss Kenny Jackett. Picture: Joe Pepler

Pompey boss Kenny Jackett. Picture: Joe Pepler

Having been replaced by Oli Hawkins during the second half, the visibly fuming striker refused a coat offered by kitman Kev McCormack before a luke-warm reaction to Jackett’s outstretched hand.

The 14-goal striker produced similar demonstrations of anger when replaced in previous away matches at Shrewsbury and Bristol Rovers.

Jackett admitted he was aware of Pitman’s displeasure during the 1-0 New York Stadium defeat.

And he believes it reflects the former Bournemouth man’s burning desire to succeed.

I quite like it in a way. It shows good passion. It’s not something I am offended by

Kenny Jackett

He said: ‘On Saturday, Brett was upset in and around the bench area, which was behind me.

‘But don’t worry, I did get the message he wasn’t happy being taken off.

‘I quite like it in a way. It shows good passion. It’s not something I am offended by.

‘Brett is frustrated when he is not in the team but it’s not something which particularly worries me.

‘It shows how much he wants to play for the club and how much he wants to do well.

‘It is unusual for forwards to play 95 minutes of every game.

‘Also I do think we need the right person at the right time in the front four positions.

‘But the frustration is there, I do get that. It’s not something I overly worry about.

‘With Brett being skipper it’s not ideal, definitely.

‘It shows he has some passion and cares, although perhaps he should show it in a different way. I can’t be critical, though. Brett’s had a good season.’

Pitman was withdrawn with debutant Sylvain Deslandes after 66 minutes of Saturday’s clash.

Hawkins, along with Connor Ronan, was introduced in a tactical switch – only for the Millers to claim a last-gasp victory.

Jackett added: ‘I brought on Hawkins for Pitman because we couldn’t really get out.

‘The idea was in that particular area we needed Hawkins to maybe win a few headers to get us up the pitch.

‘From 45 minutes to 66 minutes, that was Rotherham’s strongest time.

‘We needed Hawkins to hold the ball up, win a few more headers our way and then for Kal (Naismith) – who was going up for a lot of first balls – to maybe use his pace to get us up the pitch.

‘I wouldn’t say it did or didn’t affect the game particularly but those were my reasons for it.

‘It was like for like. Rotherham had a lot of corners and obviously Hawkins is good in both boxes as well.

‘I do think as a team it’s a change that shouldn’t change anything.

‘Also it’s about fresh legs. We were getting the runaround at that particular time.

‘Two players coming on with fresh legs have got to help you.’