Portsmouth up for the Cup – but league is top priority

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Kenny Jackett admitted a push for League One promotion is the priority this season.

Although, that doesn’t mean the Blues boss would not welcome a run in the FA Cup.

Portsmouth celebrate victory at Bradford City. Picture: Daniel Chesterton

Portsmouth celebrate victory at Bradford City. Picture: Daniel Chesterton

League One table-toppers Pompey are currently the highest-ranked team in the competition.

They get their quest for Cup glory going at National League strugglers Maidenhead United (12.30pm), looking to replicate their league form in the competition they last won back in 2007-08.

Jackett believes an extended run can work in tandem with their promotion ambitions.

Yet the man who lead Millwall to the semi-finals of the FA Cup in 2013, knows a return to the Championship remains this season’s top goal.

He said: ‘The league is a priority, I'd be lying if I didn't say it was.

‘But, running alongside it, an FA Cup run would be great.

'There's many reasons why and we all want to do well.

'Momentum is a big thing, routine of playing for the players – the best thing you can be doing is getting up on a Saturday, going and playing and doing well.

'Sometimes it's as simple as that.

'It's a different type of challenge today.

'Being the favourites and Maidenhead being the underdog, it's slightly different, but it is what it is.

'If we want to progress you have to come through these ties.’

The struggling Magpies are currently in the National League relegation zone, having lost each of their previous six league matches – netting just once in that time.

During that run, Jackett was an interested spectator as the Hawks stormed to a 7-0 triumph over 10-man Maidenhead at Westleigh Park.

But the Pompey boss will be taking nothing for granted against Alan Devonshire’s side.

‘Many of the National League sides are full-time,’ added Jackett.

'It's a tough league, hard to get out of and it gets a lot of exposure – and rightly so.

'We're not underestimating the league or them or going away in that situation at all.

'We do want to do well, we're here to try to progress in this competition.

'If we want to get through to the latter stages and in the big draws, which we do, the attitude must be right, make sure your approach and quality is there and you meet it head on.

'Do everything you can to be in the draw for the next round.’