Portsmouth boss Kenny Jackett on what FA Cup victory over Altrincham says about his side

Kenny Jackett saluted Pompey for finding a way to keep their winning run going after avoiding a sizeable FA Cup slip-up.

Sunday, 1st December 2019, 3:00 pm
Updated Sunday, 1st December 2019, 5:58 pm

The Blues had Brett Pitman to thank for his late, late winner as they finally broke the resolve of excellent sixth-tier side Altrincham with a 2-1 win.

The victory sees Jackett’s side progress to the third round of the famous, old competition for the second year on the bounce after looking set for a tricky replay.

Despite being short of their best, the win now makes it a single defeat for Pompey in their past 13 fixtures.

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It also extends their winning run to five games on the bounce, with six victories along with two draws from the last eight outings.

Whatever way you slice it, the run is increasingly impressive and Jackett was pleased to maintain the form while his side weren’t quite at the races.

He said: ‘We weren’t at our best, but it’s difficult to win games of football on a regular basis.

‘It’s easy on a one-off, so it’s pleasing to win when we weren’t at our best - but we have to give the opposition credit.

Pompey manager Kenny Jackett

‘We weren’t at our best when we turned the ball over and went forward.

‘Maybe we overplayed, let them recover and didn’t have that cutting edge at the front that league sides generally have.

‘When you’re three leagues above someone you do feel it’s normally one or two passes when you get into situations and it’s in the back of the net.

‘We didn’t quite show that quality but congratulations to the players because we found a way to win.

Brett Pitman's stoppage-time header earned Pompey a dramatic FA Cup victory over Altrincham. Picture: Joe Pepler

‘Scoring in the 94th minute isn’t something we’ve done too often this season. It shows an approach and a way to get into the third round.

‘It’s hard to win games of football whoever you are and hard to win consistently.

‘Trying to win a good amount of games out 10 or 20 you need approach and quality on that day.

‘If either one is off you can be in trouble.

‘We got through both rounds, Harrogate away and Altrincham at home.

‘It would be lovely if they were easy but we’ve won both games one way or the other and got into the third round, which was hard earned.

Jackett view of Pompey’s first-half performance was made clear as he made two changes at the interval as both John Marquis and Ronan Curtis were withdrawn.

Their replacements, Ryan Williams and Pitman, pepped up their side going forward, with Williams having a strong shout for a penalty turned down.

Then up stepped Pitman with virtually the last kick of the game to send his side through against non-league opposition who deserved a replay at least.

Jackett added: ‘I didn’t feel the lads were quite right in the first half.

‘But similarly we had to lift ourselves in terms of what those changes were really.

‘Brett had two quite big efforts. One was a scissor kick the keeper saved well and made it stick.

‘Then the effort at the end I don’t think the keeper could do anything about.

‘They were the big efforts and Ellis (Harrison) has hit the post in the first half along with Altrincham, while their keeper also made a good save from Ellis.

‘They kept driving forward and it was end to end as we missed our opportunities.

‘But we kept going and that was pleasing to see.’