Kenny Jackett: Don't dismiss Portsmouth chances of automatic promotion

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Defiant Kenny Jackett has warned: Don’t rule us out of the automatic promotion hunt.

The Blues head to struggling AFC Wimbledon on Saturday craving victory to close the gap on a League One top-two growing ever-distant.

Kenny Jackett’s side are presently 16th – 10 points behind second-placed Wycombe, albeit with two games in hand.

In terms of leaders Ipswich, the Tractor Boys are 14 points ahead, having played one more match than the Blues.

Already the table represents worrying reading for the Fratton faithful as Jackett strives to deliver automatic promotion in his third campaign.

Yet despite lagging considerably behind at the 10-game mark, Pompey’s boss remains upbeat over their chances.

Kenny Jackett is adamant that Pompey's automatic promotion ambition is still intact. Picture: Graham Hunt/ProSportsImages

Kenny Jackett is adamant that Pompey's automatic promotion ambition is still intact. Picture: Graham Hunt/ProSportsImages

Jackett said: ‘I don’t think we are out of the automatic promotion race.

‘You are looking at the table, you are looking at the points total, all we have to do is concentrate on the next game, try to get some momentum and a run – but I do think everything is open for us.

‘We would like more points, we would like to be higher up the league, we have a couple of games in hand, but when they come around we have to win them to make them count.

‘If you can get 14 points ahead then you can catch people by 14 points, that’s how it is.

‘You would always, if you had a choice, want the points in the bag, definitely, and would want to be as high as possible.

‘But, as we know from last year, things can change, it's a long season and we are looking from the reverse now. If you get away by 14 points you get back, I always believe in that.

‘I am not saying it’s easy to do, I’m not saying it happens every year, but it’s certainly achievable. We have to keep focused on ourselves and our own game.

‘I don’t think you can write us off, history tells you there are different ways to get promoted. We will do everything we can to try to get promotion this year.’

The Blues travel to AFC Wimbledon on the back of a seven-point haul from their past three fixtures.

And Jackett concedes the Gillingham draw should have produced a third-successive victory.

He added: ‘While I think things are still open for us, drawing 0-0 at home in a game where you are on top generally, that’s frustrating.

‘I felt we were okay at half-time, but didn’t particularly build on it in the second half and it petered out slightly .

‘We have been improving, but also have to be honest and say I don’t think we are at our very best yet – and Gillingham proved that.’