It won't be the same without you - but this is a chance to do Portsmouth fans proud and lift silverware in your name
As Pompey go to Wembley bidding for a place in the record books against Salford City, Kenny Jackett has addressed supporters ahead of the Papa John’s Trophy final. Here, in his own words, is what the Blues boss had to say.
The first thing to say about the final is I’m really looking forward to Wembley and proud to be taking Portsmouth there again.
It’s clear, however, it isn’t going to be the same without you, the fans, present.
It’s such a shame these occasions can’t be open to fans. To see your club at Wembley is a big thing.
It’s frustrating of course, frustrating for everybody, but we still have to look upon it as an opportunity to do you proud and lift silverware in your name.
We’re looking forward to concluding the competition and trying to win it again.
It’d be great to get back-to-back titles in this competition and make some history – and we’re certainly in it to win it.
As a player you’re going to take it and want to play at Wembley, whatever the circumstances.
It’s a great thing to do and you can never under-estimate that.
Now, I’m just really looking forward to playing the game and going there on a Saturday afternoon is great as well.
It’s certainly a good one and one to look forward to.
In terms of the game date, we’ve obviously waited quite some time and feel it can’t be put off any longer.
I can see the fixture list quite clearly now and it’s a good one. I’m glad this fixture is in there.
I don’t see it as a problem and feel it can be a lift for everyone if we were to win a trophy, against a very tough opponent in Salford.
That’s myself, the staff, players – and I do feel it has been right keep to the plan we had in place, and that’s to play the game on March 13.
We’ve had to give it quite some time to be rearranged and be patient, but they’ve been difficult and unusual circumstances.
Now there’s a conclusion and a Wembley appearance in store - it’s a good one for us, one I see as a positive.
It’s been an incredible journey for Salford and we commend them for the progress they’ve made through the leagues - and now making it to Wembley.
You look through their side and you know their players. They are a well-established group
I’ve got no doubt their success story will continue over upcoming seasons.
They have some good nous and are geared up for success. I’m sure Richie Wellens and Noel Hunt, who is obviously known here, will do very well.
They’ve had success up to now through the leagues and getting to League Two, and by the looks of it from the outside they have ambitions to keep climbing and improving their status.
It’s going to be a very different occasion to our last visit to Wembley, but I’m sure the day will awake memories of the Sunderland game two years ago.
The nature of our support was there for all to see that afternoon. It was an amazing day, incredible.
We hadn’t been to Wembley for a while and we saw two clubs who are so well supported turn out in numbers and enthusiasm. That made it a fantastic occasion.
It was a very noisy atmosphere and our fans were outstanding.
At a lot of finals there is a large amount of corporate and neutral spectators – there were very few neutrals that day.
You were Portsmouth or Sunderland, and that increased the atmosphere.
I feel that helped produce a really good game which swung one way and another.
I’m pleased to say it was Oli Hawkins who tucked that penalty away and won the competition. It was a special day and the atmosphere was second to none.
There’s no doubting this time things will be very different, but it’s a chance for us to make a mark in the record books.
Fans or no fans, there’s an opportunity to collect silverware for Portsmouth Football Club and our supporters again.
We’ve quite rightly waited for this game, but now we want to finish it off with a win for this club and you the supporters.
A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron
Tomorrow, Pompey will finally get their day at Wembley.
To celebrate the Blues’ place in the rearranged 2020 EFL Trophy Final, The News has launched an offer that gets you 25% off all our Sports subscriptions.
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