Paul Downing: I knew Portsmouth were admirers in January - now I'll repay Kenny Jackett's faith
Paul Downing is aiming to repay the faith shown in him by Kenny Jackett.
The Blackburn centre-back completed his free transfer to Pompey on Friday.
Downing signed a three-year deal at Fratton Park and will meet up with his new team-mates for pre-season duty tomorrow.
The 27-year-old has been a long-term target for the Blues.
Jackett was interested in bringing Downing to the south coast in January before he moved to Doncaster Rovers on loan for the second half of the season.
But the Pompey boss continued to monitor the former West Brom trainee during his spell at the Keepmoat – and made a succesful swoop following Downing’s release from Blackburn.
The defender’s grateful he’s been on Jackett’s radar for such a significant period – even before January’s interest.
Now he’s determined to show his gratitude by delivering high levels of performances during next season’s anticipated promotion push.
Downing said: ‘As soon as I knew there was interest and met the manager, the club was at the top of my list.
‘There was a bit of interest from Pompey in January. I knew they were admirers of mine, so I'm happy to get everything signed and am looking forward to the season.
‘Kenny sold it to me when I met him. He told me he'd watched me for a number of years and knew a lot more about me than I possibly thought he did.
‘That was encouraging. He's been watching me for a few years at my previous clubs and every player likes to hear that.
‘That was a good thing for me and I'm looking forward to working with him.
‘I've heard a lot of good things and hopefully it's a good fit for everyone.
‘Kenny watches a lot of games and he has had success at a few clubs now.
‘He definitely knows what he's doing and when I found out he knew so much about me, it was a massive compliment.
‘Now it's down to me to start repaying him with good performances and wins to help the club move forward.’
Downing represented Pompey’s third signing of the summer following James Bolton and Ellison Harrison from Shrewsbury and Ipswich, respectively.