Portsmouth boss Kenny Jackett: We cannot become promotion-spoiling Burton’s latest victim

Pompey boss Kenny Jackett has pledged not to become promotion spoilers Burton’s third prized scalp.

Friday, 19th April 2019, 7:00 am
Kenny Jackett is bidding for his promotion-chasing Pompey to avoid becoming Burton's latest scalp. Picture: Joe Pepler

This month Nigel Clough’s in-form side have applied the brakes to Barnsley and Sunderland’s pursuit of League One’s second spot.

Firstly, they inflicted a 3-1 defeat on the Tykes, the visitors’ only league loss since December.

Days later they held the Black Cats at the Stadium of Light in a 1-1 draw, Jack Ross’ side having to battle back from behind to claim the point.

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Burton have won four of their last six fixtures, staging a late surge for the play-offs, albeit still an improbable nine points adrift of sixth place.

And they offer a daunting challenge to promotion-challenging Pompey, who sit a tantalising two points short of second spot with a game in hand.

Jackett said: ‘Burton have a good squad of players and a good run of form at the moment.

'They came out of the Championship last year and have a good squad of players.

‘For whatever reason, they haven’t been able to maybe make the impact on the table that fellow relegated sides Sunderland and Barnsley have this season.

‘Last season all three of the relegated teams went back up out of our division.

‘At the moment two of the three are in there and probably Burton will be saying “Well, let’s keep pushing, we have an outside chance of maybe getting into sixth place”.

‘Similarly, we don’t overestimate or estimate anyone, you can play three teams out of the bottom four and have difficult games for different reasons.

‘We always feel confident, but humble enough to realise the amount of work you have to put in to win games.

‘It’s going to be a really big weekend, as it always is with Easter, six points in the four days can make it exciting.

‘I’m pleased to say we are in that mix trying to get second place.’

With five-straight league wins, Pompey represent the division’s in-form side.

And they know a maximum haul from their five remaining games would earn automatic promotion.

Jackettt added: ‘It’s close because we have all put on a good run and a gap has opened up, with 10 points between fifth and sixth.

‘Doncaster have won their last four and Peterborough their last three, and will have expected to close in on the top five, but haven’t really, the gap is still there.

‘The amount of times teams are winning and sides around you are winning as well is pretty often.’