Mark Catlin on why he believes Kenny Jackett never lost the Portsmouth dressing room

Mark Catlin has dismissed suggestions former Pompey boss Kenny Jackett had lost the dressing room.

Monday, 15th March 2021, 5:00 pm
Mark Catlin insists the players remained behind Kenny Jackett until the day he left as Pompey boss. Picture: Joe Pepler

And he is adamant at the time of the 59-year-old’s exit on Sunday morning, the players were still behind their manager.

Catlin informed the Blues squad of Jackett’s dismissal at their Copnor Road training ground, hours following the Papa John’s Trophy final defeat to Salford.

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In addition to a haul of four points from a possible 21 in recent weeks, the Wembley occasion signalled Jackett’s final match in charge.

Although Catlin is convinced the players hadn’t deserted their manager.

He told The News: ‘I went to the training ground on Sunday morning with Kenny before the players arrived.

‘I then addressed the players after speaking to Kenny.

‘I have to say, it’s always disappointing to read in the last few weeks that Kenny had lost the dressing room. It’s an easy word to throw out. He hadn’t.

‘Even after Saturday, they were still solidly behind him, talking about the need to look at themselves.

‘If you examine the running stats and all the different metrics used these days to judge a player’s performance in regards to the effort they put in, it’s clear over the last few weeks they were as high as always.

‘It wasn’t through a lack of effort. It was down to errors, lack of confidence, whatever word or phrase you want to use. That really was it in a nutshell.

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‘Some weeks we’ve had players put in man-of-the-match performances and the next week make two bad errors.

‘When I told them the news, there was silence, then a determination to put things right.

‘They were talking openly among themselves over how we are going to try to turn this around.’

Jackett had arrived in June 2017, replacing Paul Cook following his exit for Wigan.

Catlin added: ‘The stats will show over time that this wasn’t a disaster period in the club’s history. It’s not like every year we have fought relegation, we have been fighting for promotion and had really good cup runs.

‘However, the ultimate prize is to be fighting at the top of the table and believing we have a great shot at getting into the Championship.’

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