Portsmouth boss gives verdict over whether his side can sustain another punishing epic campaign

Kenny Jackett is confident his current Pompey squad can handle the demands of another gruelling season.

Friday, 24th January 2020, 4:45 pm
Updated Friday, 24th January 2020, 6:34 pm

The Blues boss believes he has enough options to handle the demands of a campaign which is currently being fought on three fronts.

Jackett’s men will play a minimum of 58 games this season as they aim for success in the FA Cup, EFL Trophy and League One.

On top of last term’s total, that means Pompey will feature in a whopping 120 fixtures at least - 18 more than promotion rivals Ipswich over the same period.

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Many fans felt fatigue played a part in the disappointing finale to last season, as a failure to win any of the final five games resulted in automatic promotion being missed and a play-off semi-final defeat.

Jackett isn’t so sure that was the case, though, and believes he currently has the numbers to sustain an assault on all competitions.

He said: ‘I think the squad is ready and good enough.

‘We’re showing progress and are still in three (competitions).

Kenny Jackett. Photo by Daniel Chesterton

‘The league is the big one but we have some great games coming up. We have to continue to do well to make it an exciting three months.

‘It’s one of those things you never quite know (if volume of games had an effect last season). I don’t necessarily look at it that way.

‘When the games come around you should enjoy them and try to progress.

‘Looking at the games, and I’m one for looking at games in a period or per month or season, we played 62 games last season. We’re guaranteed 58 this season without winning another cup game or the play-offs.

‘That’s 120 games over two seasons. It’s good. You have to win as many as you can.

‘Has it hampered the league form? It’s really a subjective one. I don’t look at it that way.

‘I would rather progress in every competition if I could.’

But with men returning from injury, Jackett already likes the options he now has at his disposal.

He added: ‘We’ve not got many in the treatment room and I hope it stays like that.

‘There’s certain key players you really don’t want to lose.

‘But you have to look at it and expect it to thin a bit more than it is at the moment and people have to be ready.

‘I think we’ve got enough players and players who can adapt to different positions, if needed.

‘We have a blend of youth and experience, although maybe we’ve been light on left footers this season.

‘There’s not a lack of competition and going into February, March and April they look like exciting months.

‘If we can we want to build momentum and confidence. Winning is a habit.

‘We do openly say the league is more important, but when the cup comes around as a manager I want to get through. I want to win as many games as possible and get as far as I can.’