Portsmouth boss happy to revert to two up top

KENNY JACKETT has no qualms over actioning a return to two strikers again.

Saturday, 20th October 2018, 2:36 pm
Updated Saturday, 20th October 2018, 3:55 pm
Pompey's Jamal Lowe. Picture: Joe Pepler

The Pompey manager opted to move away from the 4-2-3-1 formation at AFC Wimbledon, which has been the cornerstone of his side's success this season.

Instead, Jackett used Jamal Lowe with Oli Hawkins in attack after being shorn of three of his wingers.

With Ronan Curtis on Republic of Ireland international duty and both David Wheeler and Andre Green in the treatment room, the Blues manager felt it was the right time for a change.

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And, despite Curtis now being back, he may opt to go the same way again when necessary.

Jackett said: '˜We set out to be 4-2-3-1 with pace in the wide areas.

'˜That's where our recruitment has been.

'˜But if you look at Wimbledon, three of those four guys were missing. So we had to adjust slightly.

'˜With Curtis back we should be able to follow a more set-out pattern which has been successful.

'˜But, as games change, you need to adapt sometimes.

'˜It was a tight pitch at Wimbledon and Lowe's pace gave us an out ball. That helped.

'˜If you are playing on a tight pitch and have to defend, you do need to be able to turn the opposition when they're pushed on.

'˜How it falls and in what system and in what area, I would suggest, can change through the course of the season.'

Jackett's change last weekend was about getting the right attacking blend with his available options.

He emphasised there has to be more than just pace in the make-up of Pompey's attacking arsenal.

Jackett said: '˜Your number nine, and so far it's been Hawkins and Pitman, does need support and pace around them.

'˜But somewhere along the line you need hold-up play.

'˜You can't just have everyone looking to run over the top.

'˜The ball needs to be held up and, somewhere along the line, you need some pace and penetration.

'˜If it works perfectly, both Lowe and Curtis can both join in from the wings.

'˜That helps us and where we've been mainly.'