Kenny Jackett wants 'more of the same' as Portsmouth head to Oxford for play-off second leg

Kenny Jackett wants ‘more of the same’ from his Pompey side for this evening’s play-off semi-final second-leg tie at Oxford.

By Mark McMahon
Monday, 6th July 2020, 11:41 am
Updated Monday, 6th July 2020, 11:42 am
Pompey boss Kenny Jackett
Pompey boss Kenny Jackett

Despite drawing the first game 1-1 at Fratton Park on Friday, he believes there wasn’t much wrong with the Blues’ performance – their first match back after a 115-day break in their season because of coronavirus.

Some sections of the Fratton faithful may think otherwise as Pompey failed to make the most of an encouraging start to the tie and allowed the U’s back into the game after Ronan Curtis’ 32nd-minute opener.

But Jackett has the stats to back up his assessment, with the Blues enjoying 55-per-cent possession, having 15 shots compared to Oxford’s eight, while their corner count of 11 (the U’s had eight) also suggested the home side spent more of the game on the front foot.

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The fact that only two of those shots were on target will be a slight cause for concern – the same total recorded by Karl Robinson’s side.

Yet with Curtis also hitting the post and the Blues having three decent penalty shouts turned down by referee Gavin Ward, there’s further evidence that Pompey could have got more out of Friday’s encounter.

And that’s a belief Jackett, who will make some tactical changes, is sticking to as he prepares to take his side up the A34 to the Kassam Stadium tonight.

Ronan Curtis celebrates his opener on 32 minutes on Friday evening

Speaking to the club website, Jackett said: ‘I don’t think there was too much wrong with what we did on Friday and so we’re looking for more of the same.

‘The best side on the day usually wins and I always felt it was going to be a close contest between two sides who finished the season on 60 points.

‘We were in on Saturday and Sunday to prepare for the game and make sure that everyone’s ready for it.

‘It’s only an hour or so to Oxford and that’s good for us – it’s not like having to go all the way to Sunderland last season.

‘We have to be physically and mentally prepared, as well as seeing what we can learn tactically from the first game.’