All change for Portsmouth, but impressive winning streak remains unaltered

Kenny Jackett implemented a squad rotation, yet the only thing which didn’t change was the winning result.

Tuesday, 3rd December 2019, 10:37 pm
Updated Tuesday, 3rd December 2019, 10:59 pm

Just Anton Walkes and Marcus Harness retained their places from the side which started against Altrincham on Saturday, with nine alterations.

Instead for tonight’s Trophy fixture with Northampton, there were rare outings for Andy Cannon, Paul Downing, Leon Maloney, James Bolton and Alex Bass.

In addition, Ross McCrorie made his injury comeback, while Brett Pitman, who netted the winner in the weekend 2-1 victory over the non-leaguers, was handed a start.

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Kenny Jackett's Pompey side have progressed into the third round of the Trophy following victory over Northampton. Picture: Sean Ryan

The outcome was a 2-1 triumph through goals from Maloney and Harness – and a sixth-straight victory for this in-form team.

Jackett said: ‘We can’t say the Trophy is necessarily a priority, all of our focus now is on Saturday’s game against Peterborough, we have some really big games coming up in the league.

‘And winning is a good habit to get into for the group of players,

‘We flipped it against Northampton, the guys that have been playing were supporting the ones that haven't and if you can get a true squad and a true team spirit, that’s very, very important.

‘The first 20 minutes belonged to Northampton, they got their lead and deserved it, but after that we clawed our way back into the game, grew, and by half-time deserved to be level.

‘The second half was quite a dominant performance and we could have had some more goals, the keeper pulled off some great saves to be fair, against both Pitman and Marquis.’

Jackett will now revert back to his first-choice side for Saturdays crunch game with third-placed Peterborough.

But he was delighted with the attitude demonstrated by those who came in against the Cobblers.

He added: ‘We showed a good commitment and good attitude after quite a rusty start really, with some people a little bit nervous.

‘But, similarly, when you get a crowd of 2,413 in a competition like this, there is an importance on it and you want to win, you want to win at home, you want to win as a group.

‘Hopefully that will help us towards Saturday and build up that winning habit.’