About-turn from Portsmouth boss Kenny Jackett as he calls off hunt for new number 10
Kenny Jackett is ready to call time on his search for a new number 10.
The Pompey boss is set to go with his existing options to fill the key attacking position next season.
And Jackett has hinted that decision may free him up to recruit in another area of the pitch before the close of the summer window.
He is one of the considerations for the role behind the striker in the Blues manager’s favoured 4-2-3-1 formation, although is likely to be used wide in the event of Jamal Lowe’s exit.
Brett Pitman, Gareth Evans, Louis Dennis and Andy Cannon are the other options there at present.
Jackett indicated at the end of the summer he was looking for a new face in that area, but has now had a change of heart.
He said: ‘At the moment we’re not looking externally. I’m quite happy to look inside.
‘Gareth Evans has had a good pre-season and is a very consistent player and person.
‘Brett’s done well so far, Cannon’s done well so far and so has Dennis.
‘So I think at the moment they are the contenders and I’m not necessarily looking externally.
‘It’s the players in the building (which has changed the thinking), assessment of budget and maybe weaknesses in other areas change your mind after a few games.
‘Injury can be another factor but distribution of budget always comes up if somebody does well or there’s a hole in your team.’
Dennis’ form in pre-season training has earned particular praise from Jackett, whille Cannon has caught the eye after returning to full fitness. They appear to be the players who’ve made an impact on the Pompey boss in recent weeks.
Jackett added: ‘Dennis played the position last week and we have the two guys who filled the position last season in Pitman and Evans.
‘I’ve tried Cannon there and I think I have a few options there and different types of players.
‘Louis is talented player. I don’t think he’s quite a wide player. Nine and 10 are the positions he’s being considered for.
‘Obviously Gareth last season got 12 goals from that position, which is no small total and shouldn’t be sniffed at.
‘I was interested to read the article with Cannon saying last season was the worst injury of his career, but similarly you need to work hard through the summer and come back fit in pre-season and push your way in.
‘I’ve been pleased with him in pre-season and he played well at Bognor in quite a young team, by the end. For him so far he hasn’t missed a session and he’s produced a lot of quality.
‘I’d class him as an attacking midfielder. He’s primarily an attacking midfield player. That’s where he is.
‘He’s something slightly different to what we’ve got. We haven’t got that many players with a low centre of gravity who can receive, turn and run through the middle of the pitch.
‘A lot of our players who are good running with the ball would prefer to play out wide.
‘But it (options) sets you up and gives you good confidence.’