Portsmouth boss Kenny Jackett on BT Sport pundit role and what he learnt from Watford’s FA Cup triumph over Wolves
The Fratton faithful received a pleasant surprise when they tuned in for the FA Cup semi-final last Sunday.
A familiar face was part of the BT Sport team for the Wembley clash between Watford and Wolves.
Pompey boss Kenny Jackett joined regular host Jake Humphreys and Jermaine Jenas as part of the coverage, working as pundit.
In terms of figures who know both clubs, BT Sport’s production team couldn’t have picked better.
Jackett represented Watford during his entire playing career and featured for Graham Taylor’s side in the 1984 FA Cup final defeat to Everton.
The 57-year-old was also key in Wolves’ recovery from the third tier to a top-half Premier League club.
He guided the Molineux outfit to the League One title in 2014 before ensuring they preserved their Championship status in the following two campaigns.
Jackett gave a sound account of himself on the programme, earning praise on social media for the questions he asked to Hornets skipper Troy Deeney his side’s 3-2 extra-time triumph.
And while the Blues manager usually dedicates the majority of his time to all things Fratton Park, a chance to watch two top-flight clubs proved too tempting.
Jackett said: ‘I was just really interested in the game and it was an excellent game, it really was.
‘When the invitation come around, it was something I fancied.
‘Generally I always concentrate on the level that I’m working at but now and again it’s good to go and see a live Premier League game.
‘It was in the Cup but it was two Premier League sides and it was a really interesting game.
‘I enjoyed it. I go as a student of the game and try to look and learn.
‘Seeing some of the players live, some who I’ve worked with, is very interesting.
‘Matt Docherty and Connor Coady I worked with at Wolves.
‘I was upstairs for most of it but my position for the last part was just up by the corner flag.
‘I was almost in touching distance and watching the players’ recoveries and decisions they make.
‘The Premier League athleticism is fantastic. For Watford, Abdoulaye Doucouré and Étienne Capoue are rapid.
‘It’s not something I do normally but it was good and I went open-minded and tried to learn as much as I can.’
But will Jackett be back in front of the cameras when Watford face Manchester City in the final on May 18?
‘It’s not something I have thought about yet,’ he said.
‘I haven’t even looked at May yet in terms of where I am and where we are work-wise.
‘The most important thing is down here.
‘Even then there are games to watch and recruitment is very important.’
Jackett made 337 appearances for his hometown club during his playing days, scoring 25 goals.
He also started his coaching career at Vicarage Road and it’s where he was handed his first managerial role in 1996.
Into their fourth season in the Premier League, Javi Gracia’s men are well in the race to finish seventh this season, as well as reaching the FA Cup final.
But Jackett feels the improvements owner Gino Pozzo has made at the club could have the Hornets challenging the Big Six in the next few years,
He added: ‘Watford’s owners have done fantastic and improved every aspect on and off the pitch.
‘It’s a real success story and they look very, very strong.
‘They have a nice mix of some experienced British lads like Craig Cathcart, Will Hughes, Troy Deeney but have some outstanding players from abroad.
‘The owners have done very well and even the ground has really improved.
‘They’re an established Premier League team now and chasing the big boys looking at it.’