Portsmouth boss Kenny Jackett not concerned about playing Sunderland so early in the League One season

Portsmouth's Manager Kenny Jackett. Picture: Joe Pepler
Portsmouth's Manager Kenny Jackett. Picture: Joe Pepler
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Pompey boss Kenny Jackett has admitted that the timing of their latest battle with Sunderland does not concern him. 

The Blues will make the long journey up to the North East to face the Black Cats for the lunchtime kick-off in League One on Saturday. 

Sunderland and Pompey are set to reignite their rivalry from last season in front of the TV camera, but playing them so early in the season isn’t a worry for Jackett. 

He said: ‘I don’t really worry about things like that, you’ve got to play them sometime and whether you're ready or they are, it's got to be faced and that's it. 

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‘It's one of the games you look forward to, certainly it is a big challenge and a hard game but it's a great stadium and a big club and TV game as well, so a great stage for us, we're looking for it. 

‘I'm sure they will be there or thereabouts and have ambitions to do well.’ 

The Blues boss also spoke of his excitement ahead of the trip up to the North East this weekend despite it being a ‘big challenge’. 

Jackett explained: ‘I am looking forward to the game. Both sides have changed slightly since last year, fresh season as well. 

‘Any time you go up and play Sunderland it's something to look forward to but similarly a big challenge to try to get a result.’ 

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Jackett also revealed that James Bolton is set to feature as part of the squad for the visit to the Stadium of Light after recovering from injury but striker Oli Hawkins is set to miss the match. 

He said: ‘We're okay the only one added to it from last week is James Bolton, who will be fine for this particular week, and Oli Hawkins just has a slight foot problem, we'll just keep him off training for four or five more days. 

‘So in terms of people unavailable it's Ryan Williams, Bryn Morris, Oli Hawkins and everybody else is fit.'