Verdict: Jackett’s favoured Portsmouth formation not a negative tactic

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Kenny Jackett’s preference for a 4-2-3-1 formation should not be deemed negative by frustrated sections of the Fratton faithful.

That’s the verdict of News Pompey writer Will Rooney as the Blues prepare to host Bristol Rovers tonight.

Pompey manager Kenny Jackett

Pompey manager Kenny Jackett

Pompey go into the game looking for their first League One win since New Year’s Day – a run of form that sees them without a league victory in six games

Jackett changed his approach for Saturday's 3-3 draw with Southend by abandoning his tried-and-tested 4-2-3-1 system in favour of a 4-4-2 line-up.

The Blues raced into a 3-0 lead, only to concede two late goal to their hosts.

And many put that down to a switch back to a system the manager has favoured during his tenure in charge at Fratton Park.

That formation was in used when the Blues proudly sat at the top of the table for long periods prior to the turn of the year.

But with Pompey currently struggling for form and the squad’s attacking options boosted during the January transfer window, many fans want a change of approach.

That starts with the visit of Bristol Rovers to Fratton Park tonight.

Yet speaking in the latest edition of Pompey Talk, Rooney believes 4-2-3-1 is a system that can see Pompey at their at their attacking best.

'It's not like it's a negative 4-2-3-1,’ said Rooney.

'Sometimes Kenny Jackett's approach to games can get criticised a bit, but if you think about it, you'd have (Oli) Hawkins, (Jamal) Lowe, (Ronan) Curtis or (Viv Solomon) Otabor and Gareth Evans facing Rovers - that's four attack-minded players.

'If you play 4-4-2 and put (Tom) Naylor in, who is more than likely going to come into the side, then you're going to have one shielding anyway.

'Playing those (attacking) four has worked and it’s by no means negative, as you're always going to have Naylor sitting regardless of a 4-4-2.

'Alternatively, if you play (Bryn) Morris or (Ben) Close in a 4-2-3-1, Close is certainly got his tail up now with two goals in his past two game and Morris regards himself as a number eight and likes to play box-to-box, so he’d be looking to break into the box as well.

'You've still got the same attacking quality going forward – if not more.’