Kenny Jackett: We need to take Fratton Fortress on the road to solve Portsmouth away issues
Kenny Jackett has challenged Pompey to reproduce their Fortress Fratton form on the road to strengthen promotion ambition.
The Blues are unbeaten in League One at Fratton Park this season, with just two league defeats on home turf for the entire 2019.
In comparison, they have taken eight points from nine away fixtures, yielding two wins – the 15th best in the division.
The contrast with last season couldn’t be greater, when Jackett’s men established club records for most away victories in a campaign (20) and the largest number of league away wins (13).
In addition, the Boxing Day encounter at Gillingham represented the first time they had tasted league defeat on the road in 2018-19.
Now the Blues head to struggling MK Dons on Saturday, buoyed following successive Fratton triumphs over promotion challenging Ipswich and Wycombe.
And Jackett wants a significant improvement away from Fratton Park.
He said: ‘My talk to the players in the dressing room after Wycombe was obviously well done today, Wycombe are a tough nut to crack.
‘Then it was: “Going forward after that, we have to focus on MK Dons, don’t wallow in this one. Get over it quickly and try to sort out that away form”.
‘Our home form has been excellent, but now on our travels we have the opportunity to do better, we have lost too many games already.
‘As a manager, you are looking for both. You want good home form and for it to be a fortress – and then you want good away form.
‘If you get both, you’ll reach 100 points.
‘MK Dons will be a hard game, they have a good home record of late, as will Gillingham be tough on New Year's Day.
‘We’ll have to be more resilient and in the game more competitively, if we can.’
MK Dons have won their last two home fixtures in all competitions – against Oxford United in the league and Coventry in the Leasing.com Trophy.
Yet they represent their only wins in their last 15 matches, leaving them in League One’s relegation zone.
Meanwhile, Pompey have lost five of their nine league fixtures on the road, including that 4-1 defeat at Accrington last time away from Fratton Park.
Jackett added: ‘We’ve had a home run involving Rotherham, Peterborough, Ipswich and Wycombe, who are very good teams.
‘The games have been nip and tuck, we have done well, we have persevered and stuck in there, and I’m pleased with that, it does show it’s still an open division.
‘The points total is not necessarily that high and there is a lot of the season to go. I am pleased we are one of those involved, but just saying it won’t guarantee you anything, you have to earn it, you have to work for it.’