Kenny Jackett: I have Portsmouth team in mind for Checkatrade Trophy final against Sunderland – but it can change
Kenny Jackett has a Wembley team in mind.
But Pompey’s boss is eager to survey training progress before finalising his Checkatrade Trophy final squad.
The Blues’ players were yesterday handed a rest day as preparations commence for Sunday’s Wembley occasion.
Jackett’s men head into the Sunderland clash buoyed by three-successive wins and a timely return to form following an alarming post-Christmas dip.
Their latest victory was a 2-0 success at Shrewsbury last weekend, a fixture initially thought not to have yielded any more injury problems.
Jackett must now select a side from those on duty at New Meadow, with Oli Hawkins staking a late claim following an impressive impact from the bench.
Pompey are also waiting on Ronan Curtis, who is today scheduled to have stitches removed from his damaged finger.
Should he return to training tomorrow, the Irishman’s suitability for a return at Wembley will be assessed.
Yet Jackett largely knows his starting XI.
The Blues manager said: 'I’ve got a good idea about my Wembley team.
‘I want to try to keep it consistent, but obviously it’s about where you are with the injuries – and also how people look in training during this week.
'The important thing for us is having options. Like any manager, you would want options and then to try to pick the right team on the day.
‘We must assess players in training and make sure you know where people are in terms of injuries and coming back from being out or whatever.
‘They are the things we have five days to consider before Sunday's game.’
Andy Cannon and Bryn Morris are expected to return from injury this week, yet both are cup-tied for the Checkatrade Trophy.
Viv Solomon-Otabor (calf) and Dion Donohue (groin) have already been ruled out for a fortnight through injury.
Jackett, though, will see if there is any positive progression from either during the approach to Wembley.
His main selection issue is the left-hand of the attacking three, with Curtis, Solomon-Otabor and Donohue injured.
Against Shrewsbury, Jamal Lowe switched to the left, with Gareth Evans drafted in to feature on the right.
However, Jackett implemented a 4-3-3 system around the half-hour mark to successfully change the course of the game in Pompey’s favour.