Pompey boss: Signs of progress are there

Pompey player Gareth Evans

Pompey Christmas quiz: Gareth Evans

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For Kenny Jackett, the signs are obvious.

Progression is under way at Fratton Park – with compelling evidence provided by their MK Dons performance.

Pompey boss Kenny Jackett Picture: Joe Pepler

Pompey boss Kenny Jackett Picture: Joe Pepler

Pompey’s finest 45 minutes under the regime of Jackett set them on their way to a 2-0 victory.

It also represented a third straight win in all competitions for a much-altered side clearly beginning to gel.

Tonight the Blues face Doncaster Rovers (7.45pm), eyeing breaking into play-off spots situated just one point away.

And Jackett is convinced the improvement delivered from game to game is encouragingly perceptible.

Pompey’s boss said: ‘We’ve started to improve, the side has settled down.

‘Without putting this the wrong way, there is something of a predictability about many of the positions, which is good.

‘Then, from my point of view, I am looking at the options off the bench being strong and also, behind it, who we have if there are injuries and suspensions.

‘It’s a process and it’s a process which is forming.

‘I have said all along, Portsmouth are capable of being a force in League One, but we cannot just expect it to happen and take it for granted because it doesn’t work that way at all, you have to earn every point.

‘You can see progress. First off we are looking for our back four to settle down and get into some type of rhythm, but we are looking at every department.

‘The partnership between Close and O’Keefe seems to be quite a good one for us at the moment, while down the left-hand side there’s Donohue and Kennedy.

‘The players should take that confidence, don’t be complacent, realise this is the bar for the club – we want to be optimistic and want to be looking up.’

Tonight Jackett has the relative luxury of being able to retain the same XI which impressed against the Dons.

In addition, Conor Chaplin is back in the frame from his hamstring problem.

Nonetheless, the Blues boss feels there is still room for improvement from his side.

He added: ‘It flowed quite well in that first half (MK Dons), but I don’t think we had as many shots as we should have for the amount of ball we had.

‘I cannot complain going in 2-0 up, but too many times we perhaps took the easy option around the box, didn’t go past people, didn’t attack the last man one-v-one, didn’t take the opportunity to shoot or cross early.

They are things we have to look at and be honest.’