The people of Portsmouth love their club - our challenge is to meet their standards and make sure last season was no one-off

Kenny Jackett talks exclusively to The News as he addresses the supporters about the season ahead with Pompey

By Jordan Cross
Saturday, 3rd August 2019, 7:00 am
Pompey' boss Kenny Jackett. Photo by Dave Haines/Portsmouth News
Pompey' boss Kenny Jackett. Photo by Dave Haines/Portsmouth News

We’re looking forward to what lies ahead this season and really looking forward to the challenge ahead.

We want to build on last season if we can and we don’t want that, ultimately, to be a one-off.

I know we didn’t quite make it but we won the Checkatrade Trophy, had an FA Cup run, got 88 points and reached play-offs. We want to stay consistent now and build on that progress.

Pompey' boss Kenny Jackett. Photo by Dave Haines/Portsmouth News

There’s been quite a lot of changes on the pitch, but sometimes that is what’s needed.

I have to take responsibility now to make sure they bed down into an effective unit - I think we’ve got enough ability and character to do that and if we can hit the ground running that will be fantastic.

The season-ticket sales have been great and it shows there’s genuine excitement for the new campaign. We now need to continue our progress.

Portsmouth is an enthusiastic city. The people love their football and they love their club. The football club is central to so much in Portsmouth - and that is a strength.

Marcus Harness is one of seven signings made by Pompey boss Kenny Jackett this summer

I think that’s something that has to be capitalised on from our side of things.

For us, we appreciate that and we do want to take the responsibility which comes with it and do well for those supporters. Our fans are a positive lot who want to get behind their team.

Ultimately, we want to get into the Championship. We start the season like the majority of the division in saying we want to get into the top six and get into the Championship.

That’s how it is and we’re no different. We should be looking that way and trying to get one of three promotion places.

Pompey celebrated Checkatrade Trophy success last season

There’s a lot we did right last season. If we can replicate that and find a way to get one of those spots and get into the Championship then we will be keeping the progression of the club going.

That’s not to ignore the cups because when they come around we want to win as well. But we know where our priority lies.

Our aspirations have always been to go up - and that’s the case for the majority of the division. We have to set the bar at that.

In our first year it was an older side coming out of League Two, but things soon progressed pretty quickly to saying we can well in this league.

Last year we felt we gave it a good go, but it ultimately resulted in us just missing out on the Championship. We don’t want that to be a one-off we want this to be a successful period in the club’s history. That’s our challenge: we have to meet those standards.

There’s a lot of new faces and people finding their feet at a new club. There’s new combinations and maybe even some nervousness, but similarly we haven’t brought in people without experience.

I do expect the players to be able to adapt, get to grips with their new surroundings and ultimately make us a force in League One.

It’s good to hear the signings are exciting supporters. Terrific.

People are waiting to see how the new lads fit and who does well, while looking to watch how the lads from last year fight back. It’s an exciting and optimistic time - and so it should be.

For our supporters they are a positive bunch who want to get behind our team. That’s a responsibility we should take, enjoy and if we can embrace.

It’s a strong league. You look at what the other teams are doing, perhaps more than you really should if I’m honest!

It’s natural to do that even if you’re trying to learn to make yourself as strong as possible, but if you get into predictions in my job you can quickly end up with egg on your face.

It’s really difficult making predictions in this league, but the sides who’ve come out of the Championship have tended to do really well in recent seasons. We understand that.

But I also feel there’s a team who could come out of nowhere and do really well. 

I feel it’s an open one and, as ever, a really competitive division. It’s quite hard to call but my focus is on making us a force.

This is a fantastic football club and you work as hard as you possibly can to deliver the success supporters want. Ultimately, it’s what you want as a manager as well.

As a manager you get put into privileged positions and being manager of Portsmouth Football Club is certainly a huge privilege.

Our challenge now is to meet the standards we’ve already set here and try to better them.

We don’t want last season to be a one-off. We’re looking to be successful club competing all of the time. That’s the demand and our challenge - to meet the standards and better them.