Portsmouth boss: Sharing goals can earn promotion

Brett Pitman, who scored 25 goals last season, celebrates netting against Wycombe earlier this season. Picture: Joe Pepler
Brett Pitman, who scored 25 goals last season, celebrates netting against Wycombe earlier this season. Picture: Joe Pepler
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Pompey are sharing around the goal wealth – and Kenny Jackett is convinced they’re reaping the dividends.

The League One table-toppers have registered 11 different scorers in their 19 matches in all competitions so far this season.

That’s in contrast to the 12 separate players who struck during the entire 2017-18 campaign, spanning 53 games.

Brett Pitman was previously the dominant goalscoring figure for the Blues, striking 25 times last term and becoming the first player in 15 years to register 20 times or more in a campaign.

Currently he is on Pompey’s bench with four to his name during a period when Jackett is striving for goals from other areas of his team.

The Blues boss remains unconvinced a 20-goal-a-season striker equates to club success.

And he is pleased to see the 33 efforts registered during the current campaign shared among 11 players.

Jackett said: ‘If your number nine gets 25 goals and you can then get loads of other people scoring as well obviously that’s better.

‘I don’t want to take goals away from one person – but am also well aware we had a player who scored 25 times and we finished eighth.

‘Jack Marriott was League One’s top scorer last season and Peterborough finished ninth.

‘Promoted Wigan had Will Grigg, Nick Powell and Michael Jacobs, while Blackburn had Bradley Dack, Danny Graham and Charlie Mulgrew – but none of them scored 20 or more in the league.

‘At Wolves, when we set the points record of 103 points in this league, our top scorer was Nouha Dicko with 13.

‘People say you must have a 20-goal or a 25-goal a season striker. We all want one, we all would take it and are all looking for it, but it doesn’t necessarily equate to the sides which finish top.

‘Making sure the goals come from everywhere is important. We would still want Brett to end up with 25, that would be great, but must also get goals from everywhere.

‘A return of 20 goals is not always the case for success. We would all take it, but it just can’t be your only way.

‘There has to be goal threats from all over the pitch, we must work and take the responsibility.’

Ronan Curtis and Jamal Lowe each have six goals during the current campaign.

A return of four is shared by Pitman, Oli Hawkins and Gareth Evans, while Matt Clarke has three.

Other Blues scorers are Christian Burgess, Ben Close, Dion Donohue, Tom Naylor and David Wheeler.

Jackett added: ‘Jamal needs to build on what he has done before in terms of his goalscoring, while we need someone from the other side – hopefully Ronan and Andre Green – to contribute from there.

‘Gareth (Evans) has four, which is a good for a number 10, he always looks like scoring, while Matt Clarke has three and we have talked about defenders netting at set-pieces.

‘Ben Close, when he plays, is not a goalscorer, but last season sometimes demonstrated he can get into good positions.

‘You have to realise peoples’ responsibilities and be aware what they can do.

‘It’s something we definitely need to do, we want to be successful and analysing how is important.’