Pompey just have to look at bench to see progress

Christian Burgess has had to make do with a spot on the bench in recent games. Picture: Joe Pepler
Christian Burgess has had to make do with a spot on the bench in recent games. Picture: Joe Pepler
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Kenny Jackett believes Pompey’s bench underlines their growing strength.

And the Blues boss feels the options outside his starting line-up shows how his squad is getting stronger.

The likes of Christian Burgess, Stuart O’Keefe, Matty Kennedy and Connor Ronan have been on the bench in recent games.

Players like Conor Chaplin, Adam May and Sylvain Deslandes have found themselves out of squad all together.

That’s as a result of the injury list significantly improving for the first time in months.

Jackett has no doubt Pompey’s bench is a good indicator of how competition for places is improving.

He said: ‘If you can, you want to get your good players on the bench.

‘When you have a good bench and one or two promising players that are not in the 18 you not you’re not far away.

‘Looking at Wigan’s bench they were good and strong. Fulton’s come from Swansea, scored goals and played well recently but in the past couple of games couldn’t get into the 18.

‘Theirs is a real strong bench but ours is looking better and more manly. That increases competition and tempo in training.’

There’s definitely been a more experienced look to Pompey’s side in recent games with men like Nathan Thompson, Brett Pitman and Gareth Evans coming back into the equation.

Jackett acknowledged it’s been necessary to get a few older heads into the mix but there will be times when youthful vigour will also be needed.

He said: ‘Some experience has helped us in recent weeks, there’s no doubt about that.

‘Just seeing the attitude of the group and the attitude in training. It’s been a period where we’ve needed a little more experience at times.

‘It’s been the right thing and helped us. There will be other times when youth is needed, though.’