Kenny Jackett backs generous Portsmouth fans to help Andy Cannon thrive

Kenny Jackett believes the Fratton faithful’s generous appreciation can help Andy Cannon thrive.

Monday, 12th August 2019, 7:00 am
Updated Monday, 12th August 2019, 7:00 am

The energetic midfielder turned in a man-of-the-match display in Saturday’s 2-0 success over Tranmere.

It represented just the fourth appearance of a Pompey career devastated by injury since a January arrival from Rochdale.

Consequently, there has been little opportunity for Cannon to impress Blues followers, yet Saturday signalled his breakthrough.

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After being substituted in the 68th minute for Brett Pitman, the 23-year-old earned a standing ovation as he passed the Fratton End, with a rendition of ‘One Andy Cannon’ struck.

And Jackett is convinced that heartening reaction can help the midfielder’s performances.

Pompey’s boss said: ‘Andy was a third midfield player and then, in the second period, we let him loose in the number 10 role.

‘I didn’t feel he had quite as much running as he did on Tuesday night, but that’s his first two games since January.

Andy Cannon celebrates with team-mates Ben Close and Ronan Curtis following Pompey's opener in Saturday's 2-0 win over Tranmere. Picture: Joe Pepler

‘He’s in good condition, had a good pre-season, he has a low centre of gravity and can move the ball well, I’m pleased with what he has done and has to build on it.

‘That crowd reaction will really help him, fair play to him, he’s had a good week and is a committed player.

‘Going to a new club, you are looking to establish yourself. Some lads, not many, have been here a little while, the likes of Christian Burgess since League Two days and is quite well established, while someone like Brett can come on and bring some leadership to the group.

‘There are quite a number of people just looking to find their confidence, find their rhythm, and get a foothold in the season. This win will do them good.

Pompey boss Kenny Jackett Picture: Joe Pepler

‘Andy will be looking to build on that with a little bit of quality around the box, which he can do.

‘A good week’s rest now and will be fine for next Saturday.’

Following an opening-day defeat at Shrewsbury, the Blues have recorded successive Fratton Park victories.

On Tuesday evening they beat Birmingham in the Carabao Cup – then on Saturday claimed a maiden League One win of the campaign.

Certainly the triumph over Tranmere should have been by a greater margin, with Cannon striking the post and Lee Brown and Ronan Curtis having goals ruled out for offside.

Jackett added: ‘We deserved to win, definitely, but couldn’t find that final goal, that finish or that combination.

‘We had the chances, had the opportunities, we were in the ascendancy, with very good crossing positions. We need to be able to capitalise when we can.

‘There was also a good clean sheet, our second in a week, which is such an important part of being successful.’