Portsmouth boss reacts to talk of incident prompting captain change and reveals factors for timing of decision

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Kenny Jackett has shot down speculation an incident prompted his captaincy overhaul.

And the Pompey boss has explained the timing of his decision to change the first-team’s leadership roles.

The news of Brett Pitman being stripped of his role as skipper with Gareth Evans losing his role as vice-captain caused reverberations among supporters last week.

Tom Naylor has taken over the armband, with Lee Brown the new deputy for the rest of the campaign.

The move came to light after Pitman had aired his frustrations at a lack of playing time in the wake of his EFL Trophy winner over Crawley.

It also followed Evans being substituted 25 minutes after coming on as a sub himself in the 1-1 draw at Blackpool.

Brett Pitman and Gareth Evans has been stripped of their captaincy duties. Picture: Joe Pepler

Brett Pitman and Gareth Evans has been stripped of their captaincy duties. Picture: Joe Pepler

Those moments had perpetuated talk of a bust-up leading to the change - but Jackett vowed that wasn’t the case at all.

And he feels that, for Pitman in particular, not having the captaincy could prove a benefit.

He said: ‘There hasn’t (been an incident). In the Crawley game both had good games. I was pleased with them.

‘There hasn’t been an incident or something which has gone wrong with him (Pitman).

Kenny Jackett has given his reasons for the captaincy change.

Kenny Jackett has given his reasons for the captaincy change.

‘But similarly Brett would want to play.

‘He scored last time out in a good second-half performances which we’re pleased with.

‘He needs to follow that up and if he can go on a good run as a goalscoring number 10, which he has been for a number of years, that would be great.

‘That’s where his focus needs to be now. That’s where his focus and his incentive is.

‘There’s some competition in that area and Andy Cannon has started the season well. Also we have Gareth Evans.

‘But, similarly, if he can hold on to his shirt and produce his best form he still has a big future.’

The captaincy decision arriving five games into the league season aroused suspicion for some supporters there was an event which was the catalyst for Jackett’s move.

The Pompey boss has given an explanation for the timing, however, stating with the transfer window at a close he could come to a decision on what was best for the team knowing exactly the options at his disposal.

And after a period to assess what he felt was best moving forward, that prompted the switch to making Naylor his on-pitch lieutenant. 

Jackett said: ‘The captain issues was an assessment of the group, with the window shutting and knowing exactly who’s here and who’s not.

‘It’s was the time to look at the group and I felt the dynamics are right for a defender to take over.

‘With the window shutting there’s no more ins or outs.

‘I wanted some consistency in the defensive area.’