Kenny Jackett wants potent Portsmouth to improve their attacking ways

They were one of the highest scorers in English football last season.

Friday, 26th July 2019, 10:00 am
Ellis Harrison led the line for Pompey at Stevenage. Picture: Joe Pepler

Only five teams bagged more strikes in league action than Kenny Jackett’s Pompey.

But the Blues boss still believes there’s a lot of work for his team to do to realise their potential on the front foot.

Pompey’s 83 league goals from 46 games was only bettered by champions Luton’s 90-goal return in League One.

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Elsewhere, Manchester City hit 95 goals and Liverpool 83 from 38 Premier League games.

The only other teams to top Pompey’s effort in the top four divisions were Norwich (93) and West Brom (87) in the Championship.

Yet Jackett felt there were shortcomings at times in the way his side operated in their preferred 4-2-3-1 formation.

He believes the three attacking options need to regularly get behind the striker to give the formation potency.

Ellis Harrison led the line for Pompey at Stevenage. Picture: Joe Pepler

Jackett said: ‘I do think that it’s an area we need to work on.

‘If Oli Hawkins plays, that’s something in particular we need to do.

‘There has to be runners in behind on a regular basis.

‘Early season, when both wingers were on fire, they were doing that.

‘Look at the Blackpool goals when we won 3-2, Ronan just got straight in with a run from the wing.

‘Of the three behind the striker you need some pace and energy to get behind the striker.

‘We didn’t give them the chance to get back and would hit the target.’

He feels the 25-year-old offers more mobility as a striker than other options in his squad.

But the Blues boss reckons the former Bristol Rovers man has enough of a presence to also be a focal point for a his side.

Jackett added: ‘We do think he has good experience back to goal, but his runs down the side and stretching players so we can play the ball more in behind will help.

‘As well as that he’s a fresh player and gives some competition in that area.’

Check out our 2019-20 season preview special in Sunday’s Sports Mail with exclusive interviews with Kenny Jackett and his squad. Still only 80p!