Jackett: I won’t gamble with Portsmouth’s Cup ambitions

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Kenny Jackett refuses to risk Pompey’s chances of FA Cup progression.

And the Blues boss has vowed to field a strong side to ensure there will be no slip-ups against non-league Maidenhead on Saturday.

Kenny Jackett has pledged to field a strong team against Maidenhead in this weekend's FA Cup. Picture: Daniel Chesterton/phcimages.com

Kenny Jackett has pledged to field a strong team against Maidenhead in this weekend's FA Cup. Picture: Daniel Chesterton/phcimages.com

There will be no implementation of a rotation policy for the trip to the struggling National League outfit.

Instead Jackett will be sticking to the selection formula which has resulted in Pompey heading League One for five successive weeks.

Alan Devonshire’s team are 67 places below the Blues and presently on a wretched league run of six-consecutive losses, including 15 goals conceded in their past three fixtures.

But Jackett has ruled out ripping up his side in order to hand fringe players much-need match minutes.

He said: ‘There haven't been many times when it has necessarily been called on to change the side.

‘There has been quite a good pattern and settled pattern to most of what has happened so far so you will always want it that way.

‘In terms of Arsene Wenger saying to one of his goalkeepers “You will be playing in this competition”, I am not one to do that, I think you have to assess it as you go along.

‘Certainly this week I wouldn't want to be changing too much because I think then the percentages of winning are lower.

‘We just want to try to do well and give it everything we’ve got.

‘If we maybe have someone who needs a rest or something to do with an injury – and there is a real good reason for us to do it – then I can see that.

‘Other than that, no, there will not be a rotation. I don’t think it’s a situation where you can.

‘We want to be as strong as possible on Saturday and be as consistent as possible to give us the best chance of winning.’

Nathan Thompson is available following a one-match ban, while Joe Mason is absent for up to 10 days with a groin problem.

Yet Jackett has the option of retaining the same starting XI which won 1-0 at Bradford last weekend.

Certainly he has no intention of widespread changes.

The Blues’ boss added: ‘Every situation is different, as a manager I don’t think I have ever set out at the start of a season and said “I will rotate this, rotate that”. You very much have to see how things go.

‘It’s an individual thing. We’ve probably got a bit more depth this year compared to last year, which has strengthened my hand, and also so far we’ve had a minimal amount of injuries.

‘At home to Plymouth we suddenly lost Whatmough and Thompson in the first half to injury and had the likes of Christian Burgess to come on.

‘We managed to come through and win the game 3-0 – and that showed the strength of our squad.’