Portsmouth boss Kenny Jackett adamant he’s not telling side to sit back to see out games

Kenny Jackett insisted he’s not telling his side to sit back to see out games.

Thursday, 23rd January 2020, 6:00 am
Updated Thursday, 23rd January 2020, 10:14 am

And the Pompey boss has stressed the importance of his side’s threat on the counter when trying to withstand pressure from opponents.

Jackett is adamant he is not setting his time up to be defensive when getting themselves in strong positions.

But he feels it’s inevitable games will follow that pattern to some extent when the margins are fine.

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A recurring criticism from fans this season has been the Blues sitting on sometimes slender advantages in the search for results.

On host of occasions, however, their rearguard actions have failed to stand up to the stress exerted on them.

Jackett feels a crucial area when dealing with pressure is his side’s threat on the counter, an area which can make opponents think twice about throwing bodies forward en masse.

Kenny Jackett. Photo by Daniel Chesterton/phcimages.com

He said: ‘You don’t set out to sit back as a manager, coach or player. You don’t necessarily want to sit back.

‘But when sides push more met on to you and take more chances go forward, you have to score on the break. That was seen with the Liverpool game on Sunday.

‘You have to score on the break. A lot of the play may be in your half and deep but you then have great chances to score because there’s space to go into.

‘So as well defend well you have to have that threat.

‘If you haven’t got that threat or can’t feel that threat from the side I think it’s almost inevitable you’re going to concede. It’s tough then.’

Trips to Bristol Rovers, AFC Wimbledon, Sunderland, Gillingham, Wycombe, Accrington and Blackpool have all seen draws or wins thrown away, while it was the same in home games with Oxford United and Peterborough.

That made the manner of the Bolton victory more satisfying for Jackett.

He added: ‘It’s hard. There’s a lot of goals. There’s a lot of late goals all around. It’s not easy to do it.

‘It’s cost us points in good positions we’ve been in when we feel we’ve broken the backs of sides.

‘Coventry is probably the standout one, where they had two sent off. We had 10 players in the box to our four and it conspires to trickle into our net through two of our players’ legs.

‘We needed to see it out. That was the biggest and most frustrating one.

‘On Saturday, the start of the second half was their best period and it looked like it was going to be a really long half.

‘After the subs it went end to end a bit more and we had a bit more on the break. Although it looked like they could score it looked like we could as well.

‘The last 10 or 15 minutes it just went through that period and we saw it out well. We slowed it down a few times and broke away quite well.

‘But there was a feeling in the last 10 minutes where you were wondering because it’s happened to us a few times.

‘The players worked hard, though, and saw it out quite well.’