Gaffer: Kenny Jackett's Portsmouth exit was long overdue - especially after Wembley against Salford

Gaffer for a Day, Lee McAvery, aged 37 from Clanfield, reflects on Papa John’s Trophy final defeat to Salford and the exit of Kenny Jackett...

Sunday, 14th March 2021, 6:30 pm
Craig MacGillivray makes yet another save in the Papa John's Trophy final - and, unsurprisingly, is Gaffer for a Day Lee McAvery's man of the match. Picture: Joe Pepler

Firstly, let’s start off with a positive – Craig MacGillivray

He was outstanding. When it’s the big occasion, he’s the only player from that squad which stands up every single time.

MacGillivray couldn’t have done any more in that match, he would have still got a 10 rating from me if we had been 2-0 down at half-time.

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He was heroic. That’s the best display from a Pompey goalkeeper since David James was here.

Also credit should go to Ben Close. I cannot for the life of me understand why he is not getting a game. Everything changed within seconds when he came on.

Wasn’t it your birthday this weekend too?

Yes, I was 37 on Friday – sitting through that game on Saturday ruined it all.

Where do we start? The players are scared to get hold of the ball, they are low on confidence and we had nothing against Salford.

In the opening 30 seconds, Ryan Williams played the ball to Charlie Daniels and put the pass straight out of play. That summed up the whole game from there.

The defence are bleeding negativity and worry the rest of the team. They get the ball and it’s looking down channels rather than feeding George Byers and Tom Naylor.

We were so narrow, it was only our full-backs providing width.

What do you make of the decision to subsequently remove Jackett as boss?

I’m happy he’s left, I think it’s the correct thing. Ultimately, it's the best thing that could happen.

It’s two weeks overdue, I don’t understand what we were waiting for. Ipswich made the change when below us and are now ahead.

There are other managers out there and I would like Lee Bowyer from Charlton.

I don’t think Chris Wilder would drop to League One, while Harry Redknapp could be a short-term option. He can’t possible do any more damage – and would bring a bit of life back to Fratton Park.

And the owners?

I was at the Guildhall for the Tornante presentation and voted for them. I don’t regret that either.

We wanted a club that’s stable – and it is – but the youth setup hasn’t altered and we are still waiting for something to happen with the stadium.

I don’t want to be negative towards the owners because they do have Pompey’s best interests at heart and no doubt are putting a lot into it behind the scenes.

But they have to be ruthless. Loyalty is great – but not when it comes to the good of the club.

I suppose they did finally act with Jackett, which was long overdue.

Craig MacGillivray - 10

James Bolton - 5

Jack Whatmough - 5

Sean Raggett - 4

Charlie Daniels (Lee Brown - 7) - 3

Ryan Williams - 7

Tom Naylor - 5

George Byers (Ben Close - 7) - 4

Harvey White (Ronan Curtis - 6) - 5

Jordy Hiwula (Marcus Harness - 6) - 4

John Marquis - 5