Portsmouth boss Kenny Jackett on Wembley, cup games and schedules - and why he wouldn't swap if for anything else

Kenny Jackett looked ahead to a busy end-of-season schedule and admitted: I wouldn’t swap it for anything else.

Saturday, 22nd February 2020, 4:30 am
Updated Saturday, 22nd February 2020, 4:30 am

Pompey’s midweek EFL Trophy semi-final win against Exeter ensured the Blues will play at least 60 games this term.

A Wembley outing against Salford for Sunday, April 5, was quickly added to their calendar to force yet another rescheduling of their diary.

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Now an alternative date for their home game against Bristol Rovers – originally set for April 4 – needs to be found.

Pompey are also still involved in the FA Cup, with Arsenal due at Fratton Park next month.

Meanwhile, taking part in the League One play-offs remains a possibility given the Blues’ current position of sixth in the table.

That ensures at least another 16 games before the season finishes – more fixtures than the rest of their fellow promotion-contenders.

Pompey manager Kenny Jackett

Indeed, only Fleetwood and Coventry (both 14 games) come close to rivalling that figure, with the likes of Peterborough having only 11 matches to fulfill before any potential play-off dates.

With some exciting times on the horizon, though, Jackett wouldn’t have it any other way.

And looking back with hindsight on last season’s failed promotion bid following Checkatrade Trophy success against Sunderland, the manager believes busy schedules can’t be blamed on any shortcomings.

Jackett said: ‘I wouldn't swap going to Wembley.

‘We’ve had some big league games and big FA Cup games with another one to go, but I wouldn’t necessarily swap that.

‘In terms of last season, there are certain things (schedule) you look at but are they reasons (for not getting promoted)? You don't know.

‘Where we are now, if I feel people look tired or they speak to me and have different things – because sometimes you can have things going on in your personal life as well – then I’ll make that decision.

‘But we have a good squad, a fit squad and looking forward to the challenge.

‘The players outside the squad are pushing and we have some good players there.’