Pompey boss relishing high-profile Valley clash

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Pompey player Gareth Evans

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Kenny Jackett is relishing locking horns with Charlton on a grandstand occasion featuring a bumper gate.

Pompey form the opposition tomorrow for what is the Addicks’ 25th anniversary of returning to The Valley.

It’s a great turn out, which will make it a big atmosphere, and it’s a responsibility for myself, as manager, and all of the players and coaching staff to produce a performance and a result

Kenny Jackett

The hosts are preparing to mark the occasion in style, while the fixture has also captured the imagination of the Fratton faithful.

More than 3,800 tickets have been sold in the away end for the League One encounter – the second-highest Pompey following in the last five seasons.

It adds up for an intriguing contest for the former Premier League companions.

And Jackett is looking forward to the clash.

He said: ‘You want to be involved in the big games, you want as many big games as possible.

‘If you are turning up and there’s not many people there and the atmosphere is dead then that’s not what you are aspiring to.

‘Sometimes you have to deal with those days but you aspire for big games, big atmospheres, games well attended.

‘It’s a big day for Charlton as well and we know we’re going to have to be at our very best and we know what we’re up against.

‘They are the type of days and games you want to be involved in. You shouldn’t underestimate the size of the task – no way – but you should also be saying this is a great opportunity and a challenge we should relish.

‘It’s a great turn out, which will make it a big atmosphere, and it’s a responsibility for myself, as manager, and all of the players and coaching staff to produce a performance and a result.

‘It is something that we will relish because it’s great backing from our support.’

Charlton, who occupy sixth spot, are expected to include ex-Blues and The News/Sports Mail Player of the Season recipients Ricky Holmes and Jason Pearce.

– NEIL ALLEN