Pompey boss: Eighth isn’t bad – but we want promotion

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KENNY JACKETT possesses an encouraging platform following a maiden season at the Pompey helm.

Not that there exists the desire for hearty self-congratulation or triumphant gushing over an eighth-placed League One finish.

Pompey boss Kenny Jackett Picture: Joe Pepler

Pompey boss Kenny Jackett Picture: Joe Pepler

After all, one crucial ambition has not been fulfilled – promotion.

Irrespective of budgets and the necessity to rebuild the side upon their League One return, Jackett is not content with this term’s outcome.

The Championship was his driving aspiration upon a June 2017 arrival at Fratton Park.

And promotion definitely remains the target as he casts his eye over next season.

Eighth isn’t a bad season, we are okay with it, but we should always start – as we did last year – with one of those three promotion places in mind

Kenny Jackett

Jackett said: ‘I don’t think you can ever be necessarily satisfied, but I don’t think it’s a bad season.

‘We finished eighth in this very competitive league. It’s a good league, too.

‘We’ve spent four years as a club in League Two and our aim is to get into the Championship, we want to keep stepping in the right direction.

‘You can’t start the season and say “Look, we just want to finish halfway”.

The Pomey players on their lap of appreciation around Fratton Park

The Pomey players on their lap of appreciation around Fratton Park

‘Eighth isn’t a bad season, we are okay with it, but we should always start – as we did last year – with one of those three promotion places in mind, that has to be our aim.

‘In terms of our squad, we haven’t got a lot around which is excessive. It’s quite an efficient, slim squad and we want to build on that and make sure we are as strong as we can to target promotion and get into the Championship next year.

‘The Championship has to be our target, it was last year and will be this year.

‘We’ve had spells where we have looked convincing, we’ve had spells where we haven’t as well.

‘What did we target this year? Promotion. And where do we target next year? Promotion.

‘We haven’t been near relegation or spent much time in the bottom half and we want to build on that and improve.

‘You can’t just expect it to happen, you have to earn it again. I am humble enough to know it won’t just arrive, you have to work at it.

‘We don’t feel we are in a bad position, but it is very easy to sit back in football,.

‘we don’t want to do that – we want to keep driving forward.’

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The Blues finished five points adrift of League One’s final play-off position upon their return to that level.

Many of the old guard from the League Two title-winners have been removed, with Jackett overhauling his squad to add a more youthful element.

And he has more changes in mind over the summer as he attempts to bolster promotion hopes.

He added: ‘I think for clubs that suddenly make wholesale changes it can sometimes be a recipe for disaster.

‘Generally, we wanted some younger players who are improving and on their way up, not on their way down.

‘You have to recognise that at times we’ve needed experience as well, but you need the right people, the right experienced players.

‘It’s a good platform we have at a very, very good club.’