Kenny Jackett: No sprint start to Portsmouth summer recruitment plans

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At this stage last summer, Pompey had already added Ronan Curtis and Louis Dennis.

The Fratton Park recruitment flurry continued, totalling five fresh arrivals inside 21 days.

Checkatrade Trophy FINAL -  Sunderland v Portsmouth - 31/03/19'Dressing room after the match - 'Portsmouths Ronan Curtis  celebrates with the Trophy

Checkatrade Trophy FINAL - Sunderland v Portsmouth - 31/03/19'Dressing room after the match - 'Portsmouths Ronan Curtis celebrates with the Trophy

According to Kenny Jackett, however, there will be no such sprint this time around to bolster his Blues squad.

Instead he is anticipating the gradual strengthening of a group he is convinced requires less of a rebuild than the summer of 2018.

Pompey’s boss said: ‘We would have tried to recruit quickly again if we could have done so, but it hasn’t quite worked out that way.

‘There’s two things. Obviously with our season prolonged and not knowing which division we were in – and us stronger this year, so it’s harder to improve the team.

‘If you are looking at the side which finished the 2017-18 season, there were a lot of younger players, so bringing in players was a bit easier in terms of improving our squad.

‘What we have to do this year is make sure we don’t just collect players. We have to bring people who are going to make a difference, which is what we are trying to do at the moment.

‘Similarly, with us waiting on our fate in terms of the division, we had a list and players waiting for us. If we go up, it’s yes. And if we don’t, it’s no. So then we are working slightly further down that list.

‘Having said that, the majority of those are people talking to all our competitors as well.

‘You do end up, for two thirds of your time, speaking to those also talking to clubs in and around you.’

Joining Pompey before June 11 last year were Curtis, Dennis, Craig MacGillivray, Tom Naylor and Lee Brown.

Dennis aside, those players established themselves as first-team regulars in a side which finished fourth in League One and claimed the Checkatrade Trophy.

Jackett added: ‘I wouldn’t say this summer will necessarily be busy, it very much depends on what’s outgoing.

‘We will just have to see how things go and react off that, but with the ultimate aim that we don’t want to step backwards, we want to compete again next year.

‘We competed well this year. Ultimately we didn’t quite get there, but we competed, had a go for it and next year don’t want to fall back and fall to halfway.

‘We want to be competing.’