Portsmouth eye Brighton fixture in hunt for friendly opposition ahead of League One restart

Brighton lead the clubs Pompey hope will provide crucial friendly opposition ahead of a potential season resumption.
Small groups of Pompey players have been training this week ahead of League One's expected return. Picture: Habibur RahmanSmall groups of Pompey players have been training this week ahead of League One's expected return. Picture: Habibur Rahman
Small groups of Pompey players have been training this week ahead of League One's expected return. Picture: Habibur Rahman

In preparation for a League One restart, Kenny Jackett has approached teams from the Premier League, Championship and League Two.

The Blues boss feels friendly fixtures are ‘essential’ to honing his side’s match fitness as they eye a return to action.

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A play-off campaign is the minimum Pompey can expect to compete in as they maintain ambitions of promotion to the Championship.

Brighton’s under-23s have formed pre-season opposition at their Lancing-based training base in each of the past two summers.

And Jackett is again seeking to continue that link up.

He said: ‘I would definitely be wanting friendlies and there will be some clubs from other divisions in the same boat.

‘I have spoken to quite a number of people that, if the circumstances were right for them, would be happy to play us. I do feel confident we will be able to find someone.

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‘In terms of opposition, there is the Premier League. The Championship is also a prime one, but geographically you don’t want to be travelling too far.

‘Friendlies are essential and there’ll definitely be enough options for us out of the Premier League, Championship and maybe League Two.’

The Premier League have been granted permission to stage friendlies in the build up to their June 17 return.

However, teams have been instructed not to travel more than 90 minutes for a fixture, with players to journey in their own car.

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In addition, members of coaching staff must officiate as referees will not be allowed.

Jackett added: ‘This Friday will be 12 weeks since we last trained as a group – and more than 12 weeks since we played Fleetwood.

‘That’s a long break – and to get to your best you definitely need friendlies.

‘It will be like a pre-season, with you trying to get everybody game time, but, similarly, you need your best XI to play 90 minutes together as well.

‘It will be a combination of those things.’

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