Kenny Jackett adamant Portsmouth's 3-4-3 system is no one-off - and wants to use it again

Kenny Jackett sees a Pompey future for the 3-4-3 system following a highly-successful Southend experiment.

Kenny Jackett is considering utilising a 3-4-3 system in the future following its success at Southend. Picture: Joe Pepler
Kenny Jackett is considering utilising a 3-4-3 system in the future following its success at Southend. Picture: Joe Pepler

The Blues surprisingly lined up with three centre-halves in Tuesday night’s EFL Trophy visit to Roots Hall.

Such was the effectiveness of the team’s display, the scoreline could have been even more emphatic against the League Two strugglers.

Certainly Jackett was impressed following the ditching of his trusted 4-2-3-1 formation which has yielded the bulk of his 92 victories as Blues boss.

But he admits that 3-4-3 could also be implemented in the League One programme.

He told The News: ‘With Nicolaisen coming in as a natural left centre-back, it does give us an option both in a back two and a back three.

‘It was a back three at Southend and it naturally suited the players that I had. But I do feel, with this squad, it is something we can do at the right time.

‘We may need to match somebody up during the course of a game because a lot of sides play that way now and that can help us negate them.

‘But, similarly, with three forwards there’s a lot of freedom as well and we’ve got players that can go into those pockets, supporting the centre-forward and being able to play it very well.

‘It suits a lot of our players – we saw that on Tuesday night.

‘As a group, we just wanted to use it as an exercise to have a look at the 3-4-3 and see where it took us.’

Jack Whatmough and Sean Raggett were both rested for the Southend trip, with Jackett keen to grant other centre-half options match minutes.

Both would surely feature in any back three Pompey may opt to field in league action, along with the left-footed Nicolaisen.

However, for Saturday’s visit of MK Dons in the return to League One action, he is expected to retain the system which yielded the impressive 4-2 success at Burton.

Nonetheless, its unveiling at Roots Hall has convinced the Blues’ boss that there may be a place for the 3-4-3 at some stage during a league campaign with ambitions for promotion.

He added: ‘I was very pleased. The attitude of the players was good and we did create a lot of chances.

‘We worked on it in the build up for this game, but it is always better to look at it in a match – and I do think it will strengthen our options for the league.’

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