Kenny Jackett pinpoints this in-form Portsmouth player as 'one of the best' at the club
Andy Cannon’s impressive Pompey form has been lauded as Kenny Jackett declared: he’s one of the best players at the club.
The midfielder’s enjoying a fine run in the Blues' starting line-up and has established himself as a key player.
Cannon has started nine successive League One matches, helping Pompey pick up five wins and two draws to move up to fourth in the table.
He’s formed an excellent partnership with Tom Naylor in central midfield and has benefitted from the change to a 4-4-2 formation.
Having been at Fratton Park for almost two years following his arrival from Rochdale for £150,000 in January 2019, Cannon’s been playing his best football during his time on the south coast in recent weeks.
Jackett feels the 24-year-old's fitness and strength has naturally improved this campaign – and he is reaping the rewards.
The Pompey manager said: ‘Andy’s form has been really good and he's reached a level of fitness now where he is producing real good quality on and off the ball.
‘Going slightly deeper has helped him but the credit goes to the player.
‘I do feel now that he has gone on to another level of fitness where he looks capable of playing regularly.
‘When Andy is on it, he is one of the best players in the club. This season, I think he's got strong and fitter.
‘That's not through him doing anything differently, you just get stronger as you get older and has been able to produce performances on a regular basis, which is great to see.
‘He's formed a good partnership with Tom Naylor. They are quite close off the pitch and know each other well. It looks like a good partnership as they complement each other.’
Cannon featured only twice during the second half of the 2018-19 season after his move to PO4 due to a thigh injury.
For the majority of his 28 outings last term, he operated in the number-10 role.
By his own admission, Cannon didn’t contribute with another goals and assists when featuring as an attacking midfielder.
He’s looked far more at home in a two-man engine room alongside Naylor, however.
That’s a sentiment that Jackett agrees with, as he believes it allows Pompey’s wide and forward players a licence to have more of a goalscoring threat.
Jackett added: ‘From playing three in midfield, which we have played quite a lot since Andy has been here, watching him go into a 10 there's a difference in expectation.
‘With a three-man midfield, you're wondering where your goals and assists are coming from because, either way, you're a wide man short or a forward short.
‘There are plenty of teams who can pick a lot of midfield players but the problem is you do flatter to deceive a little bit because those guys are not always goalscorers.
‘For Andy, going from a three-man midfield to a two-man midfield, he's done very well.
‘As he's got older, he's got stronger and that has resulted in very consistent performances that have kept him in the team.’
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