Kenny Jackett makes position clear as Portsmouth players stay away from training ground

Kenny Jackett is adamant he’d never penalise his players as some of his squad continue to stay away from Pompey’s training ground.

Tuesday, 2nd June 2020, 7:30 am
Updated Tuesday, 2nd June 2020, 7:43 am

Two members of the Blues’ first-team set-up are choosing to undertake their fitness programme away from the club’s Roko base, as they wait to see the way ahead for the season.

And Jackett has stressed that’s a situation he’s comfortable with in the unprecedented situation football finds itself in amid the coronavirus pandemic.

He said: ‘We’ve had some people who haven’t come in, yes, and I’m 100 per cent okay with that.

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‘They wouldn't be penalised, not at all. Their individual situations would never be held against them at all.

‘I’d never not want people to play when they’re not necessarily sure, not committed because that’s not the case, but if they aren’t sure or certain it doesn’t work under any circumstances if people aren’t 100 per cent focussed.

‘It’s an individual situation and I’d only want to work with people and go with the ones who have their focus.

‘I’d be loathe to use the word commitment because it’s not about commitment, but if you haven’t quite got the focus it’s best you don’t play.

Pompey players training yesterday. Picture: Habibur Rahman

‘What I’ve said to everyone is it’s 100 per cent individual and if you don’t feel comfortable, don’t come in.’

Pompey’s training remains within government constraints and has been largely consisting of drills which follow social distancing guidelines.

Whether league places are decided on the pitch or the season moves straight to play-offs, sessions will need to be ramped up moving forward, however.

Jackett insisted he will apply the same criteria over players opting out of training in that situation, too.

Pompey players training yesterday. Picture: Habibur Rahman

He added: ‘We’d need a period of free training, but that’s okay.

‘It would speak to everyone individually and it would be their choice, definitely.

‘I understand totally, everyone has their own situation and worries. It’s how you feel and how you read the situation.’