League is Portsmouth's top priority but Kenny Jackett still wants Trophy final against Salford played amid hectic schedule

Kenny Jackett still wants Pompey’s EFL Trophy final against Salford to be played.

Friday, 22nd January 2021, 6:00 am

The Blues boss believes the last game of the 2019-20 competition needs to be fulfilled – despite no fans being present and the PO4 side facing a hectic schedule of 25 league games between now and the end of the regular season.

There have been calls for the game to be scrapped altogether after the Fratton faithful were told earlier this month that they would receive refunds for tickets purchased ahead of last term’s showpiece.

This year’s scheduled final is also less than two months away, with Sunday, March 14, set aside for the fixture.

Sign up to our Portsmouth FC newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Pompey are out after their 5-1 defeat at the hands of Peterborough last week – allowing them to concentrate fully on their promotion push.

But Jackett is of the opinion that their clash with Salford still needs to go-ahead – and he’d happily fit it into his team’s schedule.

He told The News: ‘Our concentration, obviously, is the league.

‘But it’s a Wembley game and, yes, we would want to play it, even though there’s a long way to go before we get crowds back into stadiums.

The Pompey players celebrate their 2019 Checkatrade Trophy final win against Sunderland. Picture: Jordan Mansfield/Getty Images

‘I haven’t got any clarity (when it will be played). When it is exactly is a different matter.’

The EFL had hoped to play the game before this year’s final – but time is clearly running out for that to happen.

Pompey have only one midweek date available between now and March 14 – the week beginning Monday, February 1.

However, Salford play Colchester on Tuesday, February 2.

And while the Reds have no fixture scheduled for the week commencing Monday, February 15 – the Blues travel to Bristol Rovers on the Tuesday.

The only solution could rest on Peterborough’s progress in this year’s competition.

If the quarter-finalists continue to the final on March 14 – the same weekend they are due to host Jackett’s side at London Road – then Pompey could ask Salford to rearrange their home game against Barrow in order for the game to be held before the 2020-21 competition to brought to a conclusion.

Otherwise, a new date after March will need to be approved – right in the middle of a potential title run-on for the Blues.

Jackett added: ‘I think it will get played somewhere along the line, it will probably have to be played before this year’s final.

‘I haven’t got a date for that though, I don’t know exactly when it will be.’

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

The News has launched a new subscription offer which gives you unlimited access to all of our Pompey coverage, starting at less than £1 a week.

You can subscribe here to get the latest news and transfer updates from Fratton Park - and to support our local team of expert Pompey writers.