Kenny Jackett's verdict on his Portsmouth players after they return to training

Kenny Jackett believes his players are ready to put their play-off heartache behind them after their return to training.

Monday, 10th August 2020, 7:00 am

The Blues were back in business as they reported back for pre-season training last Monday, after a shortened summer break due to the impact of the coronavirus.

Jackett addressed his men before they got to work, with the opening week based around sessions at the club’s Roko base.

They will spend this week at a training camp before playing their first warm-up game at the weekend.

Jackett has been pleased with the mindset they’ve shown following the play-off disappointment against Oxford United.

He said: ‘The players have been back all week and have got themselves into a good groove.

‘We had long enough to get ourselves organised with the Covid-19 testing and protocols and creating a safe working environment here in the build-up to play-offs. Now we can pick up where we left off.

‘It’s been a strange situation and is no different in football but we’re pleased we can get going in terms of the play-offs, the new season and crowds coming back in.

Pompey are back in training. Picture: Habibur Rahman

‘That gives us something to focus on and work towards.

‘Things have been for a good reason because there’s been a pandemic but I’m confident we’ve provided a safe working environment for the players and they can settle down, keep improving and focus on the season ahead – which is a big one coming quickly.’

Jackett noted how the fitness of his men have been at a high level, with just four weeks between the second leg of the play-offs and their first session.

The Pompey boss is also working with smaller numbers with his first-team squad totalling 19 players at present.

He added: ‘We have a better idea of players’ fitness and there are fewer numbers. They’ve all come back well and it’s been a combination of football and fitness.

‘We had a long pre-season period for the play-offs so we’ve been able to come in, find a good rhythm and are pleased how the players come back.’

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