Kenny Jackett believes pre-season change will boost Portsmouth
Kenny Jackett believes a later return to action will aid Pompey’s pre-season.
That’s eight days on from their first fixture last year when they met Cork City on July 2, while his side opened their warm-up campaign the previous year on July 1 at Salisbury.
Jackett feels there’s physical benefit to the change, as well as allowing his five new faces time to adjust to their new surroundings.
He said: ‘We have definitely given ourselves a bit more breathing space, in terms of when the first game is.
‘We did feel last year we hit it a little bit quick and risked injury.
‘So we’ve just given ourselves a little bit more time and maybe more training time and bedding-down time.
‘The length of last season was what it was, but we’ve given ourselves an extra week.’
Jackett doesn’t feel the wait to play any warm-up games provides any real hindrance to his players building match fitness.
He expects to field a different side in each half next week at the UCD Bowl, and he sees that as a world away from the rigours of a competitive 90 minutes.
The Pompey boss highlighted the running figures of his players as evidence that’s the case.
Jackett added: ‘We’re playing 30 or 45 minutes, so it’s not much different to a training session
‘A full-blown competitive 90 minutes is right up there. The difference is from 10 to 13km and high-speed running. Jamal Lowe, Ronan Curtis and Gareth Evans will be 1km of high-speed running.
‘Replicating that in training when you can get 60 or 70 per cent of that is as high as a session goes.
‘It’s games really and full 90 minutes (that count).
‘Even from pre-season friendlies the actual games go up 10 or 20 per cent.’