Jordan Cross discusses the key talking points in the wake of Pompey’s 2-1 triumph over Fleetwood Town on Tuesday night.
• YOUNG GUNS GO FOR IT
Jackett’s Juniors? Kenny’s Cubs? Whatever you want to call them, Pompey are likely to have a youthful edge in the coming weeks.
And the Blues’ young guns passed their first test with a show of character at Fleetwood.
A goal in each half looked like making it a comfortable night for Kenny Jackett’s men at the strugglers.
Conor McAleny’s superb 25-yarder made for a nervy finale but the visitors held out as they defended deeper and deeper.
It took Kenny Jackett to reel off the senior players he’s currently deprived of for the gravity of his selection problems to register.
Kal Naismith (groin) was the latest to join Brett Pitman, Gareth Evans and long-term absentees Stuart O’Keefe and Danny Rose in the treatment room.
Throw in the suspended Nathan Thompson and it’s a major hit for any squad to take, especially factoring in the lack of outfield arrivals on deadline day.
So throwing in the relative youngsters was a case of needs must rather than them being viewed as ready to go in en-masse
An average starting age of 22.5 came down to 21.27 when factoring in the bench, which had a mean of 19.428.
Looks like we’re about to find out if the kids really are all right.
• LOWE’S ALL RIGHT
Two man-of-the-match performances on the bounce has signalled Jamal Lowe’s re-emergence.
Lowe continued where he left off at Southend with another flying display at Fleetwood.
Well, strictly speaking that’s not quite right as the 23-year-old switched flanks to the right as Matty Kennedy returned to the starting line-up.
It’s a position where Jackett feels the attacking talent is more effective, even if the man himself likes to cut in from the left.
Ironically, an incursion from the right was exactly how Lowe grabbed his sixth goal of the season, as he fed Ben Close before picking up on his blocked shot and finishing.
Lowe also played a key role in the second, as his cross-shot was parried allowing Oli Hawkins to roll in the loose ball.
The creativity and end product marks a return to form for a key attacking figure.
• MAY’S DAY
Adam May marked his return to the starting line-up after a four-game absence with an impressive showing at Highbury Stadium.
The academy product has dealt with some criticism of late, as he’s made his graduation into the senior set-up.
But a metronomic display kept his team ticking over from the centre of the park, making efficient use of the ball as he shifted it from side to side.
Jackett himself has voiced doubts the lack of age and muscle in a midfield pairing of May and Ben Close.
May is pumped up to show if you’re good enough you’re old enough moving forward.
That’s the challenge now with the signs he’s going to be given the chance to cement his place in the starting line-up this weekend.