Kenny Jackett pinpoints key reason for turnaround in Portsmouth's season

Kenny Jackett has lifted the lid on the discussions which have reversed Pompey's fortunes.

Friday, 13th December 2019, 6:00 am
Updated Saturday, 14th December 2019, 2:45 pm

The Blues boss has told of the message he and his staff sent to his players which has kickstarted their League One season.

Jackett revealed how a back-to-basics philosophy was impressed on his squad after a stuttering start to the campaign.

And stressing a simple mantra of working harder than the opposition has contributed to a recent upturn in fortunes.

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Jackett feels refocussing on pulling the team tighter together and demanding they go into the trenches for each other has contributed to that success.

He said: ‘We have been on that for the players the last couple of months now and spoke about this.

‘Team spirit, work for each other and nothing beats hard work.

Kenny Jackett

‘When you’re up against it, look after each other, pull together and work as a team.

‘We’ve said for the next period let’s be the hardest-working team in the league. Let’s be the hardest-working side we can.

‘You want to see the players believe. Confidence is hard earned and it’s very easy for it to fall away.

‘You have to work hard to get it, keep it and maintain it.

‘There has to be a certain degree or high degree of character to do that and handle some disappointments really.

‘That’s something and being able to bounce back. You do need a degree of resilience to do that.

'Similarly, if we can keep edging the bar in that direction in every single way there is no reason we can’t have a good run at this year still.’

Jackett feels the statistics back up the fact the players are putting in the graft, since they placed extra focus on out-running the opposition.

He added: ‘The numbers do back that up, certainly in terms of my system. The front four positions have to be high.

‘The two full-backs you are looking for high numbers, explosive ones.

‘The two central midfielders are a high number of long distance rather than high-speed running.

‘Centre-halves on the day can be objective to what’s a good game by physical stats.

‘Centre-halves’ running stats can go high on how many free-kicks and corners they’ve been on, things like that. So that’s a little bit a shade of grey in that position.

‘They’ve been the big things over last few months.

‘It’s making sure we work for each, be selfless and make sure there’s a good team spirit. Nothing beats hard work.’