Pompey boss has need for speed

Gareth Evans netted the first goal against Northampton Town. Picture: Joe Pepler
Gareth Evans netted the first goal against Northampton Town. Picture: Joe Pepler
Pompey's Stuart O'Keefe

O’Keefe ready to drive Pompey play-off push

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Kenny Jackett told Pompey: Speed kills.

And the Blues boss felt last weekend’s Checkatrade Trophy victory over Northampton highlighted the importance of hurting teams with pace.

Gareth Evans’ opener against the Cobblers was a brilliant example of devastating counter-attacking play.

It took 12 seconds from Pompey winning in the ball in their defence to hit the back of the net.

It’s an approach Jackett feels can be hurtful in League One.

He said: ’How do you score goals? I feel in this division there are a lot of attacking teams and a lot of spaces if you can attack quickly. It’s not short, it’s not long, it’s quickly.

‘Whether you do that dribbling the ball, 10 short passes or one long one it doesn’t matter. It’s the speed of the attack that counts.

‘As you go up the levels it’s the speed of the attacks which make the defining difference.

‘The speed of the attacks in the Premier League are exciting and devastating.

‘It’s hard to recover from - and that’s where there are top athletes who can recover.

‘At League One level counter-attacking at speed is something we can improve on.

‘It’s something we work on. It’s something I value, but it’s something that 100 per cent gets you goals.’

Jackett was also pleased with the quality of Pompey’s second goal as Nathan Thompson supplied the ammunition for Stuart O’Keefe to finish.

He said: ‘It was a good break from Gareth. The second one as well where Thompson sidestepped his man and pulled it back into O’Keefe’s path.

‘O’Keefe passed it past the goalkeeper instead of just trying to hit the target. That showed quality.

‘At that time we needed that quality, because we pulled away from them afterwards after they were getting back into it. Both goals showed quality.’