Jackett not concerned by Portsmouth fatigue

Kenny Jackett surveying Pompey's latest win on Tuesday night. Picture: Philip Oldham
Kenny Jackett surveying Pompey's latest win on Tuesday night. Picture: Philip Oldham
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Fatigue will not influence Pompey team changes in pursuit of victory over Gillingham.

That is the verdict of Kenny Jackett, who is adamant he cannot sense any tiredness in his undefeated Blues.

Pompey’s boss has maintained a consistent selection policy during the run which has catapulted the team to League One’s summit, particularly in the past month.

A gruelling midweek victory at Coventry arrived in the midst of a testing spell of five matches in 15 days for the promotion-hunting side.

Jackett, though, pinpoints February as the time to be concerned about fatigue.

In the meantime, he believes his players can cope with the demands expected.

He said: ‘There are times when you can just see on someone that it might be time to step out.

‘I would say that’s more about individuals rather than wholesale changes. In the main, your squad at this stage of the season should be fresh and should be okay.

‘There are always individual situations, such as people’s health, pre-season, things like that. But at this stage they should be the minority – the majority of the group should be ready to play twice a week.

‘From February onwards that can vary, once you get into 30-40 games you do see a slightly different game at that stage of the season, right across the country. I think fatigue plays a part in that period.

‘That shouldn’t be the case two months into the season – they've just had seven weeks off!

‘As you get to know your players better and their character you know whether they are on it or not.

‘There may be one or two who need resting, or maybe not. I am not looking to make changes just because we need them through freshness.’

In recent weeks, Brett Pitman has dislodged Oli Hawkins, while fit-again Jack Whatmough reclaimed his spot off Christian Burgess.

Otherwise Jackett has kept faith in the team which continues to excel.

He added: ‘Another thing is if it’s a third game in a week.

‘Generally, the travelling can take its toll a little bit and it’s not always a physical thing either, but mentally. People look a little jaded and half-a-yard down, it’s not a conscious thing.

‘With three games in a week and the last is away from home, like Donaster earlier in the season, it is pretty tough then.

‘But for us it’s not applicable this week, we have a home game.’

                             – NEIL ALLEN