Pompey boss: No qualms using 3-5-2 again

Kenny Jackett. Picture: Joe Pepler
Kenny Jackett. Picture: Joe Pepler
Former Rotherham boss Kenny Jackett Picture: Bruce Rollinson

Pompey boss: No grudges on Rotherham return

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Kenny Jackett insists he has no qualms about once again employing three central defenders.

And the Blues boss revealed his players have been honing the unfamiliar system in training this week.

I believe we have the players suited for it

Kenny Jackett

Pompey head to AFC Wimbledon tomorrow seeking to bounce back from Sunday’s defeat to Rotherham.

That televised occasion saw Jackett introduce a 3-4-1-2 formation – only to scrap it at half-time.

Despite its early teething problems, the manager is convinced he possesses the players capable of thriving within it.

Certainly the return of Gareth Evans from suspension and anticipated debut of Damien McCrory would help fill the wing-back spots.

Although Jackett stopped short of revealing just how Pompey would set up at Kingsmeadow.

He said: ‘In terms of the system in the first half (against Rotherham), I don’t think it necessarily brought the best out of our players.

‘With any system, I am looking to employ my best players and bring out the best in those players.

‘For us it’s a new group forming, it’s about getting the ball in the right areas, getting the ball to key people to create, making sure that as we go forward we can create and defend chances.

‘Changing the system is something that really has to hit the ground running quickly, being as instant and as effective as possible.

‘I understand in reality that might not be the case. You want to give the players confidence but most importantly you want those changes to bring the best out of the players.

‘We have continued to work on it (the 3-5-2) in training this week. They are getting there and games coming up thick and fast will help us.

‘I believe we have the players suited for it.

‘I understand there has to be a degree of common sense for those working towards it but you want them to pick it up quickly – and for that system to bring out the best in the players we have.’

Jack Whatmough is struggling for tomorrow’s encounter after collecting a knock to his left knee.

Should Jackett retain three at the back, that would necessitate a maiden start for Nathan Thompson alongside Matt Clarke and Christian Burgess.

However, Pompey’s boss is fully aware how his central defenders struggled in the system last weekend.

He added: ‘I didn’t think the three centre-backs necessarily got to grips with it.

‘Having said that, if we’d had players fit, we could have maybe done it all the way through pre-season.

‘Against Rotherham, to get back into the game and dominate in the second half, I didn’t think we needed three centre halves out there.

‘We had a lot of the game in the second period and got into it but obviously without getting the goals.’