Portsmouth boss Kenny Jackett: Why I brought Christian Burgess on against nine-man Coventry

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Kenny Jackett has lifted the lid on the reasoning behind Christian Burgess’ late introduction against nine-man Coventry. 

Pompey last night surrendered a two-goal lead in the final 16 minutes to be held to a 3-3 draw with the Sky Blues.

Craig MacGillivray and Christian Burgess of Portsmouth FC after their sides 3-3 draw during the Sky Bet League 1 match between Portsmouth and Coventry City at Fratton Park, Portsmouth, England on 20 August 2019. Photo by Robin Jones.

Craig MacGillivray and Christian Burgess of Portsmouth FC after their sides 3-3 draw during the Sky Bet League 1 match between Portsmouth and Coventry City at Fratton Park, Portsmouth, England on 20 August 2019. Photo by Robin Jones.

Jackett’s much-changed defence looked shaky all evening during a match in which attackers on both sides impressed.

On 85 minutes, the Blues boss opted to utilise Burgess from the bench with his team 3-2 up against the nine-man visitors.

Within 60 seconds, the Sky Blues had dramatically levelled the Fratton Park fixture through Michael Rose.

Then, chasing the game, he brought on Brett Pitman for defender Sean Raggett in an attempt to go on the front foot again.

And Jackett explained his decision.

He said: ‘I brought on Burgess to see out the game.

‘Not only that, but to try to get full width with McCrorie and Haunstrup going on the outside. When sides are outnumbered, you need to make the pitch as big as possible.

‘So I tried to get as wide as possible, while for situations like that long throw at the end, an extra defender in the box always helps.

‘We were in a good position and a winning position, we feel it’s two points lost and the nature of it is disappointing.

‘From our point of view, we feel we could do better.’

Amid the wreckage of a disastrous defensive display, Jackett found positives, particularly as an attacking unit.

And with goals from Ronan Curtis, John Marquis and Gareth Evans, he was impressed with the cutting edge.

He added: ‘We looked quite potent going forward, but I definitely didn't think we looked that confident or assured at the back – and in the end that proved the case.

‘We worked really hard to put ourselves into a good position and scored some very good goals, there were some good performances.

‘But, similarly, we have to be aware we need an accurate assessment of where we are and what we need to do – and that game showed that.’