No strikers for a cup final shoot-out - Kenny Jackett reveals approach to Portsmouth penalties against Salford
No Pompey strikers remained on pitch for a Wembley penalty shoot-out, including his undisputed first-choice taker.
Kenny Jackett has explained the Blues’ approach to their unsuccessful Papa John’s Trophy final shoot-out against Salford on Saturday.
Having been crowned holders of the Checkatrade Trophy on penalties, two years later the same method would announce their abdication.
Following a goalless draw after extra-time, the encounter headed into a shoot-out.
For Pompey, John Marquis had been subbed at half-time of extra time, while Jordy Hiwula came off after 45 minutes.
With Ellis Harrison missing through injury, the Blues’ penalty options were devastated.
Ryan Williams and Ronan Curtis missed, while defenders Lee Brown and Sean Raggett netted – with Tom Naylor next in line.
Not that the skipper was required, with Salford triumphing 4-2.
Jackett explained: ‘Choosing the takers is a combination of knowing the players, talking to them during the week, but obviously it evolves during the game and who comes off.
‘By the end, you look at the 11 that we have on there and conditioning of the players. But then, importantly, players that are very confident and want to take it.
‘John Marquis had a bit of cramp, he had been running his legs off and had nothing necessarily left energy wise.
‘When his calves are cramping up like that, it’s tough to take a penalty, he didn’t feel he necessarily had that last 15 minutes in him.
‘Then Ryan’s put the first one over the bar, which was a tough one. For Ronan, I thought he struck it really well, the keeper read it, though, it was an excellent save.
‘Missing the first one and the other being saved by the keeper then gave us a mountain to climb with the rest of the pens and put Salford in pole position.
‘It’s obviously very frustrating for us. We worked hard to get ourselves back into the game after the first 45 minutes.’
The absence of Harrison from Wembley was also a blow, having netted four of his six goals this season from the spot.
Instead Hiwula was handed the fourth start of his Pompey career.
He added: ‘Ellis got injured against Sunderland and is going to have a scan on his knee.
‘It has been slightly troublesome since a tackle two or three games ago and he has not really been able to shake that off, unfortunately.
‘Jordy played because of Ellis’ injury, we just needed a different combination up front.
‘He’s got good movement, but we needed to change things (at half-time).
‘Unfortunately for the lads coming off it’s frustrating, but then we did need to change things with Salford on top.’