Kenny Jackett unveils Portsmouth friendly plans - with Fratton Park key to Oxford preparation

Kenny Jackett wants up to two more friendlies to form Pompey’s play-off preparation.

Tuesday, 16th June 2020, 5:00 pm
Fratton Park will be used for friendlies and in-house games to prepare Pompey for the play-offs. Picture: Graham Hunt/ProSportsImages/PinP

And in-house fixtures will also be arranged to bolster his squad’s match fitness.

Pompey faced Championship Reading on Sunday for their opening friendly of the summer.

A total of 23 players were utilised by the Blues, although Ronan Curtis (glute) and Reeco Hackett-Fairchild (quad) sat out through injury.

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With the first leg of the play-off semi-final against Oxford United taking place on July 3, Jackett is now pursuing other friendly opposition.

He told The News: ‘It was a really high-standard game against Reading. We came in from a very good standard right from the start and the game reflected that.

‘We played a total of 23 players, with the majority of the senior players having 45 minutes each, plus Alfie Stanley and Harvey Rew featuring.

‘At the moment we haven’t finalised any other matches, but we are trying to.

‘We are speaking to people and seeing if we can do something because we have the best part of three weeks now of building up to the Oxford game.

‘We will also need to work at Fratton Park, which could mean playing some in-house games.

‘With everyone fit, we have an even two teams, so I don’t mind setting it up in a match situation by playing in-house.

‘The standard is pretty good right the way through the squad when we have everyone fit, which we do at the moment. So I don’t mind doing that.

‘But I would like one or two games.

‘Similarly, the work at Fratton Park is important to get us used again to the surroundings, the surface and, unusually, an empty Fratton Park.’

Aside from Curtis and Hackett-Fairchild, the only players absent from the Reading run out were the two who last week tested positive for coronavirus.

Instead they were self-isolating for seven days, but have since returned to the training ground.

In the meantime, Jackett is scouring for more friendly opposition.

He added: ‘We did discuss Brighton at one stage, there was a possibility.

‘But, as we were looking at possibilities, we didn’t know when other leagues would start. It wasn’t like a normal pre-season, where you are working towards a date.’

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