Kenny Jackett downplays Portsmouth promotion momentum after eye-catching Ipswich triumph

Pompey have delivered another compelling promotion message – but Kenny Jackett is adamant it’s too early for such optimism.

Sunday, 13th December 2020, 5:30 pm
Pompey claimed another win over a promotion rival on Saturday, this time Ipswich, to climb to third in League One. Picture: Simon Davies/ProSportsImages

It followed the previous weekend’s 2-0 success over another rival – Peterborough – in a stunning Fratton Park display.

In-form Pompey remain the league’s leading scorers and also possess the best goal difference.

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Certainly Jackett acknowledges his team are well on track to this term surpass successive play-off finishes.

However, after 17 matches, he is stopping short of declaring the Blues as the real deal in terms of automatic promotion contenders.

Pompey boss said: ‘I don’t necessarily worry about sending out messages to our rivals, I look at our points total and we are on 31 points from 17 at the moment.

‘We’re going to have to be right up there with 70s and 80s points gained if we are going to be successful – and that does point towards needing to be able to put winning runs together on a consistent basis.

‘There are a lot of other good teams in the division as well. I have always said the top 8-10 teams in League One are big clubs or very well-funded clubs, so it makes it a tough competition to get one of those three promotion places.

‘I always believe we can get in the top two. We’ve been a play-off side for the last couple of seasons and that shows we haven’t been far away, we just haven’t managed to crack those play-of games and win them.

‘It’s very early to say whether we can win automatic promotion, we aren’t even half-way through.

‘It is a very long season and very much depends on your team, form, availability and recruitment in January. All of those things come into it.

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‘Up to now I have been pleased, we are in a decent position in the league and I think have shown some quality and spirit.

‘But we have to keep going and make sure that doesn’t fall away.’

Pompey have won nine of their last 14 League One fixtures during a climb from 21st place.

Now they are now stand one point behind second-placed Lincoln, although Michael Appleton’s side have a game in hand.

For Jackett, the signs are distinctly encouraging.

He added: ‘We’ve got quite a settled group at the moment, which is good news, we know that doesn’t happen all the way through the season.

‘For us, we want to work toward being cohesive with and without the ball.

‘The players should be pleased with what they have produced, but similarly you have to look forward to Fleetwood, because it comes around very quickly.’

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