Kenny Jackett believes pre-season change will boost Portsmouth

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Kenny Jackett believes a later return to action will aid Pompey’s pre-season.

The Blues get their first minutes under their belt next week when they play Irish outfit UCD as part of their stay in Dublin.

That’s eight days on from their first fixture last year when they met Cork City on July 2, while his side opened their warm-up campaign the previous year on July 1 at Salisbury.

Jackett feels there’s physical benefit to the change, as well as allowing his five new faces time to adjust to their new surroundings.

READ MORE: Former Luton and Basingstoke striker Aaron Jarvis departs Pompey after week’s trial

He said: ‘We have definitely given ourselves a bit more breathing space, in terms of when the first game is.

Pompey began their pre-season on July 1 in 2017. Picture: Colin Farmery

Pompey began their pre-season on July 1 in 2017. Picture: Colin Farmery

‘We did feel last year we hit it a little bit quick and risked injury.

‘So we’ve just given ourselves a little bit more time and maybe more training time and bedding-down time.

‘The length of last season was what it was, but we’ve given ourselves an extra week.’

Jackett doesn’t feel the wait to play any warm-up games provides any real hindrance to his players building match fitness.

He expects to field a different side in each half next week at the UCD Bowl, and he sees that as a world away from the rigours of a competitive 90 minutes.

The Pompey boss highlighted the running figures of his players as evidence that’s the case.

Jackett added: ‘We’re playing 30 or 45 minutes, so it’s not much different to a training session

‘A full-blown competitive 90 minutes is right up there. The difference is from 10 to 13km and high-speed running. Jamal Lowe, Ronan Curtis and Gareth Evans will be 1km of high-speed running.

‘Replicating that in training when you can get 60 or 70 per cent of that is as high as a session goes.

‘It’s games really and full 90 minutes (that count).

‘Even from pre-season friendlies the actual games go up 10 or 20 per cent.’