Kenny Jackett: New-look strike force Brett Pitman and John Marquis can fire Portsmouth to success

Kenny Jackett is convinced new-look Pompey strike force Brett Pitman and John Marquis can wreak League One havoc.

Friday, 4th October 2019, 7:00 am
Updated Sunday, 6th October 2019, 2:32 pm

The Blues boss has opted to pair up the prolific duo in attack after employing a 4-4-2 formation in the past two fixtures.

Subsequently, Pitman netted a headed winner in Saturday’s welcome 1-0 victory over Bolton, while Marquis was man of the match.

Jackett has scrapped his favoured 4-2-3-1 system to match up the deadly double act, who totalled 32 league goals between them last term.

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It represents the latest attempt to unearth a winning formula for an underachieving Pompey side presently residing 19th in League One.

And Pompey’s boss will once again let the duo loose for Saturday’s tricky trip to Doncaster.

Jackett said: ‘There are goals in combinations, that’s what I’m looking to develop.

‘John makes very good runs and can receive the ball in tight areas. Like most goalscorers, when he starts scoring he will get a run of goals.

Brett Pitman celebrates with new strike partner John Marquis after grabbing Pompey's match winner against Bolton. Picture: Joe Pepler

‘Brett will be slightly closer to the (number) nine than he has been, certainly in the last two games he has formed a relationship with the nine.

‘He will generally come to feet and hopefully be able to hold the ball, while John’s movement is very good, so it’s quite a natural partnership.

‘With Ellis as well, for Brett there are potentially two good partners there and would certainly complement him.

‘When I have played Brett in a two or he has been pushed up, maybe he and Oli Hawkins haven’t always complemented each other.

‘Can he and John complement each other? Yes. Can it form a good partnership? Yes. Are there goals in those guys? I think so.’

Pompey have taken just one point from four away league games this season.

And they have been sharpening their new attack’s cutting edge in preparation for the trip to Doncaster.

Jackett added: ‘We have worked on it a lot in training, they now always train together, we put them on the same team.

‘In terms of pattern of play, it is combinations, combination around the box particularly.

‘It’s something we’re going to work hard at and hopefully let develop.’