Kenny Jackett: Promotion – not the Checkatrade Trophy – remains Portsmouth goal

Kenny Jackett is adamant Pompey’s Checkatrade Trophy outcome will not disturb their promotion ambition.

Thursday, 28th March 2019, 5:55 pm
Updated Thursday, 28th March 2019, 5:56 pm
Kenny Jackett's goal remains promotion - not the Checkatrade Trophy. Picture: Joe Pepler

And the Blues boss has reiterated securing a place in next season’s Championship remains the overriding goal.

Pompey face Sunderland on Sunday, an encounter attracting in excess of 80,000 supporters for what will be a competition best.

It offers a break from the League One promotion race, with just one point separating the rivals.

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The pair are scheduled to meet in the league on April 27 at the Stadium of Light in a potentially pivotal fixture.

There may also be a play-off date at the season’s end.

Regardless, Jackett doesn’t anticipate either club becoming distracted by how Sunday unfolds.

He said: ‘I hope whatever happens in the Checkatrade Trophy final helps us positively – either way, it’s a one-off game.

‘A win is good in any competition, you try all you can to breed confidence and not complacency.

‘Similarly, when you lose, generally you work out how far away you were from winning and quite often you are not. Then you do everything you can to put that right in the next game. 

‘Whichever way it works out on Sunday, we go to Wycombe the following weekend in a chase for promotion and we want to keep the pressure on the top two if we can.

‘We must do everything we can to get into that top two and earn as many points as possible. We are on 74 at the moment, with another 21 possible.

‘Promotion is the priority, it always is. But we won't be thinking that on Sunday when we play – and I’m the same.

‘Whatever the next game which rolls around, I want to win that game regardless of the competition.

‘But if you are asking me as an overall if it’s the cup or if it’s the league – of course it's the league. There is no doubt about that.’

Sunderland will be confident of overtaking Pompey in League One, courtesy of two games in hand.

But for the moment, Jackett’s attention is solely fixed on Wembley.

He added: ‘I’m very much one that focuses on the next game and puts everything into that.

‘We are playing in the Checkatrade Trophy on Sunday and that’s it, your focus and concentration has to be on doing your best for that.

‘It would be great to win it, you want to do as well as you possibly can in every competition.’