Portsmouth boss demands ‘top-class performance’ against Fleetwood

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Pompey have been challenged to conjure up a ‘real top-class performance’ to kick-start their Fratton Park form.

League One’s table-toppers face Fleetwood on Saturday off the back of two points from a possible nine in recent Fratton Park outings.

Kenny Jackett has called for a 'top-class' display against Fleetwood on Saturday. Picture: Joe Pepler

Kenny Jackett has called for a 'top-class' display against Fleetwood on Saturday. Picture: Joe Pepler

In contrast, the club’s away form is the best in its Football League history from the start of a campaign.

Draws to Shrewsbury and Wycombe were followed by defeat to Gillingham in the Blues’ last home outing during what has developed into a disappointing run.

Jackett is fully aware his side must rediscover their Fratton Park winning touch to accompany outstanding results on their travels.

And he has demanded a high-quality display to ensure it.

The Pompey boss said: ‘We want – and are looking for – a real top-class performance on Saturday.

‘That is our aim, that’s what we want to be, we want to be as good as we possibly can be.

‘We have done well this season, but for the last three games performance-wise haven’t quite got it right.

‘We want to be lifting that, that’s our target. It is never easy, but also you should always try to analyse it and improve.

‘You can look at the quality of the opposition's performance, certainly the Gillingham game, and the quality of their defending was a part of it, but in the end we have to take responsibility ourselves.

‘We must work out how to overcome different types of tests because there are many different challenges in this division and we must be adaptable enough to be able to work our way around it.

‘In our last three home performances, I don’t think we have necessarily played at our best. We’ve had one or two displays in which we haven’t been as good as we possibly can be.

‘In our game and sport you have to be as good as you can be, working a plan to its maximum and setting a bar just a little bit higher all the time to give people tests to be improved.’

Irrespective of the Fratton Park dip, the Blues are three points clear at the top of League One following 30 points from 13 matches.

However, with no clean sheets in league fixtures at home since September 1 against Plymouth, Jackett believes it’s an area they need to improve upon for Fleetwood’s visit.

He added: ‘We need to work from a very good base defensively, targeting clean sheets.

‘Zeros and ones are what we want to give us a good defensive record upon which we can build – and once you’ve got that you then have to look forward and make sure you can create and convert the chances.

‘We are professional, we cannot be too sensitive with analysis and criticism, but also internally have to make our own judgements and be honest with ourselves.’