Portsmouth boss tells players they have to deal with edgy Fratton Park crowd

Pompey have been told they have to be strong enough to handle the Fratton tension.

Thursday, 21st February 2019, 3:57 pm
Updated Thursday, 21st February 2019, 4:59 pm
Pompey have been told they have to handle any Fratton Park tension against Barnsley. Picture: Robin Jones/Digital South.

And Kenny Jackett has challenged his players to show bravery on the ball if the pressure mounts on home soil against Barnsley.

The Blues bid to put a seven-game winless run to bed against Daniel Stendel’s side tomorrow.

That run was extended after the 1-1 draw with Bristol Rovers at Fratton Park on Tuesday night.

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There were signs of nervousness in the home crowd, with boos at half-time and a muted response to the full-time whistle.

Jackett could sense that but stated he felt that simply arrived from the home crowd wanting their team to deliver.

He believes that’s a scenario his players need to handle, with the Pompey fans’ natural tendency to will their team on.

Jackett said: ‘Yes, definitely (the players should be able to handle it). That is part of playing for a big club.

Pompey have been told they have to handle any Fratton Park tension against Barnsley. Picture: Robin Jones/Digital South.

‘The crowd want us to do well and they can see some games are on a knife-edge and can go either way.

‘All they want is for it go our way, and for us to dominate the opposition if we can and take the initiative.

‘That can sometimes produce a nervous atmosphere at times - but it’s only because they want us to do well.

‘Just generally and overall, though, I do think the crowd get behind the side very well.’

Supporters have been critical at some of the direct play produced from their side through their recent poor form.

Jackett can see how that can seep into their football when there is tension present.

The Pompey boss feels it’s up to his players to show the strength of character to deal with that scenario.

Jackett added: ‘I do think it’s important for us (to be brave on the ball).

‘It’s important to how the game flows in the first 30 to 35 minutes and building a positive atmosphere for us.’