Portsmouth players warned no-one's position safe under ruthless Kenny Jackett

Pompey’s buoyant players have been warned: No-one’s starting place is safe.

Tuesday, 28th January 2020, 6:00 am
Updated Tuesday, 28th January 2020, 6:00 am

That is the blunt massage from Joe Gallen as the Blues tonight head to Lincoln seeking to extend their remarkable run of results.

In-form Pompey have lost twice in their past 21 fixtures in all competitions, while are presently enjoying a spell of six successive victories.

Andy Cannon, Ben Close and Ryan Williams were recalled against Barnsley on Saturday, contributing towards the team’s best performance of the campaign.

It ensures an intriguing Blues team selection at Sincil Bank this evening (7.45pm) as attention returns to League One progress.

And, according to Joe Gallen, no player should consider themselves ‘nailed on’ for a regular spot when Kenny Jackett is at the helm.

Pompey’s assistant manager said: ‘I don’t think anything is set in stone, it is all open and up for grabs position-wise. There is a lot of competition – and the manager won’t hesitant to drop someone.

‘I don’t think anyone really should feel that their position is nailed on. I don’t think so!

Kenny Jackett has demonstrated his ruthless nature in team selection this season. Picture: Daniel Chesterton/phcimages.com

‘He (Jackett) does what he feels is right for the team, I don’t think anyone should get too comfy, and they don’t either.

‘But if they are, the way things are panning out at the moment they need to think again.

‘As we saw in training yesterday, there are so many players fit and so many good players who are going to be sub tonight. Some good players aren’t even going to be travelling.

‘We are in a good position that way because with every player there is someone on their shoulder.’

The surprise decision was later explained as a ‘gut feeling’, with Pompey’s boss continuing to name the youngster in FA Cup and League One action.

Brett Pitman, previously long-time skipper until demotion in September, has been omitted from the last five squads, although continues to train.

Meanwhile, Paul Downing, a summer recruit on a three-year deal, has been made available after being axed from a starting role in mid-September.

In addition, the long-serving Gareth Evans wasn’t included in Pompey’s squad for the trip to Bolton earlier this month – a fixture which Jackett’s men won 1-0.

Gallen is well aware Pompey’s boss has no qualms over potentially mixing up his team.

He added: ‘Kenny will do what he feels is right for the good of the team.

‘He is not really fussed if you’ve signed them, not really fussed about anything really – he’s just fussed about the good of the team.’