No Portsmouth deadline-day drama - and no excuses for Kenny Jackett not to deliver now

The lights went out at Fratton Park’s office hours before the Sky Sports News hysteria reached its crescendo.

Friday, 31st January 2020, 9:46 pm
Updated Friday, 31st January 2020, 10:08 pm

Elsewhere, the key players at PO4 dined after a day of meetings with the city’s stakeholders where they planned for a bright future.

No deadline-day drama here then. No frantic late race to fill gaping holes in Kenny Jackett’s squad.

While rivals frantically recruited bodies en-masse in scenes witnessed at Fratton on several occasions down the years, Pompey’s recruitment team could reflect on satisfying business put to bed early in the window.

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Perhaps there was a modicum of disappointment for those who like to get wrapped up in the transfer window drama and thirst for a new name to emerge as managers make their knee-jerk decisions.

But their football club don’t find themselves in such a position this year - and that should be both refreshing and pleasing.

Yes, Pompey had channelled energy into looking for a left-sided central defender to supplement the trio of recruits brought in early.

An option did surface in that area on Thursday night for Jackett to consider.

Kenny Jackett. Photo by Daniel Chesterton/

In the end, the move didn’t advance with the view taken there was little sense in bringing an additional defender if he wasn’t viewed as a significant upgrade on what was already at the manager’s disposal.

Equally important was the fact a defence which has conceded two goals in four League One fixtures and seven in eight over all competitions is showing signs of settling. Much like the team as a whole, things are moving rapidly in the right direction there.

This time last year six new faces came in to significantly change the team’s dynamic at a crucial point in the season. We all know what followed.

Yes, much of that movement was enforced by departures but a repeat of that scenario has been avoided. Lessons have been learnt.

‘I’m not scratching my head thinking where can I get a striker from,’ said Kenny Jackett this week in an illuminating insight to how he views things.

Instead, he’s looking at a 26-man squad with options, variety, flexibility and cover in all areas. That’s not a situation Pompey have arrived at by accident.

The man tasked with taking his team into the Championship at the third attempt faces his own challenges to manage his options for what will be gruelling run-in fought on three fronts.

He views that neither as a conundrum or a headache but a necessary consequence of being armed with the tools to succeed – and give this city what it craves. Now it’s time to deliver.