Roberts: Treatment by Pompey boss was massively disrespectful

Gary Roberts watched Pompey's League One opener against Rochdale from the stands at Fratton Park Picture: Joe Pepler
Gary Roberts watched Pompey's League One opener against Rochdale from the stands at Fratton Park Picture: Joe Pepler
Pompey conceded three goals when they travelled to Ewood Park in October Picture: Joe Pepler

Jackett: Pompey underdogs for Blackburn visit

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Gary Roberts said Kenny Jackett showed him a lack of respect in his final weeks as a Pompey player.

But speaking to The Football League Paper, the attacking midfielder admitted that he ‘couldn’t take it personally against Portsmouth’.

The 33-year-old was reunited with former Blues boss Paul Cook at Wigan last month, after making 80 appearances and scoring 20 goals during a two-year spell at Fratton Park.

He made the move when his contract at PO4, which had a year remaining, was cancelled by mutual consent.

But it was a switch the former Chesterfield and Ipswich player wasn’t keen on making, after helping Pompey secure the League Two title last season.

Following Jackett’s arrival as manager at the start of June, it became apparent that Roberts would not be part of his plans.

Along with Michael Smith, he was made to train away from the rest of the first team, making only three appearances in pre-season as the squad prepared for the 2017-18 League One season.

A move away from the club was inevitable, culminating in the decision to cancel his contract at the start of last month.

Roberts admitted he wasn’t surprised to be shown the door.

But hoped his efforts for the club would have been recognised in a better manner.

Roberts told The Football League paper: ‘I couldn’t even give you a reason why, but he had me and Michael Smith training seperately and made it clear that he didn’t want me there.

‘The kids were in school and I loved my time there, so I wasn’t looking to move, but it just came out of the blue that Kenny Jackett didn’t want me.

‘I was training away from the first team, which I stuck to for a little bit.

‘I thought I’d get through it and hopefully get a chance, but he made it clear I wouldn’t get a chance.

‘I just thought it was massively disrespectful.

‘I did it for three or four weeks and, in the end, I was losing patience and my head was going.

‘I think Kenny Jackett has done it with a few players over the years, so it didn’t really surprise me that he did it to me.

‘I couldn’t take it personally against Portsmouth.

‘It was just the manager’s decision to treat players like he did – and that’s just the type of man he is.

‘It was a new manager that wanted his own things and he thought the best way was to get me out of the club.

‘So be it. That’s his choice.’

Since his departure to the DW Stadium, Roberts has made two substitute appearances for the Latics.

Michael Smith moved to Bury on transfer deadline day after his Blues deal was also cancelled by mutual consent.

He has made four appearances for the Shakers to date but is yet to score.