Portsmouth boss Kenny Jackett knows importance of Bolton's Fratton Park visit

Pompey boss Kenny Jackett
Pompey boss Kenny Jackett
Share this article
0
Have your say

Kenny Jackett is under no illusions of the importance of Pompey’s League One encounter with Bolton on Saturday.

The Blues are currently languishing 20th in the table – two points above the relegation zone.

They have endured a frustrating start in their league campaign, managing a solitary victory from seven outings to date.

That damning statistic saw supporters direct their anger towards Jackett during the 1-0 defeat at Wycombe last Saturday, with a significant section of the travelling contingent calling for the manager to be sacked.

There were signs of encouragement despite a 4-0 Carabao Cup loss to arch-rivals Southampton on Tuesday night.

But Jackett knows the same effort, commitment and energy must be on show again against the Trotters if Pompey are to start climbing the League One standings.

Bolton, rooted to the foot of the table, were deducted 12 points before the season began after going into administration.

Yet a club takeover was completed by Football Ventures last month which allowed them to totally reshape their squad.

And having initially struggled at the start of the campaign, Keith Hill's side head to Fratton Park on the back of successive draws.

They came close to clinching a maiden victory last time out against Sunderland, only for Aiden McGeady's last-gasp penalty to salvage a 1-1 draw for the Black Cats.

Before that, Bolton drew 0-0 with an Oxford side with only one loss in their past eight outings.

Although Hill’s troops head to Fratton Park with confidence from recent results, it's a game Pompey will be identifying to kick-start their campaign.

And Jackett is fully aware of the match’s importance as he targets a much-needed win.

He said: 'Coming to Fratton Park is a big game for everybody.

‘But it’s a bigger game for us.

‘Our players know how important the game is.

‘We know we need to get going in the league and we know how important Saturday is, definitely.

‘But while every opponent has to be respected, I don’t think we need to fear anybody either.

‘There is nothing for us to fear in this division.

‘The sides we’ve played so far, we shouldn’t be fearing.

‘We should respect them but the most important thing is about getting the performance level right on the pitch.'

Bolton currently prop up the League One table with just three points to show from their eight games played.

That sees them sit on minus-nine points – 15 less than the Blues.

But Jackett is wary of the threat the Trotters will pose at Fratton Park.

'They’ve had some good results lately and they’ll be trying hard to build some confidence and go on a run if they can,' he added.

‘They’ll be trying hard to push up the table.'