Portsmouth winger and Ipswich target Michael Jacobs reveals goals for new campaign after unluckiest season of career
Michael Jacobs is glad to have binned the unluckiest season of his football career.
With two knee ligament injuries, a knee operation, contracting Covid, and the failure to reach the League One play-offs, the 2020-21 campaign is not one to be revisited.
Certainly next term can only be an improvement. Hopefully.
Undoubtedly, there were encouraging glimpses of the qualities which brought the ex-Wigan winger to Fratton Park in September 2020.
However, fate too often cruelly conspired to keep the 29-year-old out of Pompey’s first-team, restricting him to just 22 games.
Yet optimism gushes through Jacobs – who has been linked with a move to Ipswich this summer – ahead of the fresh campaign, now injury-free and back in action following three-and-a-half months on the sidelines.
And he’s targeting much brighter prospects.
‘I think I’ve done everything since I’ve been here, apart from playing football,’ he told The News.
‘There has been Covid over Christmas and two innocuous tackles which have cost me 5-6 months.
‘The next minute you look and you've played 22 matches and we haven’t achieved promotion.
‘We were in good positions and bad positions throughout the season. Watching from the sidelines is hard enough as it is.
‘It was a strange old season for me last year, definitely the unluckiest of my career.
‘There were two innocuous tackles, one which went through the back of me and one went through the side of me. These things happen - but you don’t expect them to.
‘Then you get Covid in the middle of it and it has been one of those seasons.
‘At the time, four or five of us got Covid within the club, meaning a couple of games were put back.
‘It wasn’t too bad for me, although I lost my smell for quite a long time and bad headaches weren’t ideal. You also don’t realise how much it affects your lungs and it took a couple of weeks to get over it.
‘Thankfully my family were okay. My daughter was only 3-4 months at the time, so that was a concern, it was another difficult time.
‘We got through that, yet it was another stumbling block across the season.
‘I came down here, wanted to do well and achieve goals, but it hasn’t happened yet. I need to get focused on doing well, playing well and staying fit.
‘Hopefully I can improve and make sure I’m playing good football for Pompey.’
Jacobs was ruled out of the final eight matches of last season after sustaining medial knee ligament damage at Wigan in April.
It represented one of three lengthy spells out of the side, injury absences totalling 27 fixtures.
However, Pompey did triumph in 10 of the 12 League One matches the former Wolves man started last season.
While Jacobs scored in victories at Gillingham and Charlton as Blues fans enjoyed some excellent contributions.
But he is adamant the Fratton faithful have yet to see the best of him.
Jacobs added: ‘I did well at times last season, but I also think there’s more to come.
‘In patches it has been all right, but it's a division where I feel like I can do well when I am appearing consistently and producing good performances.
‘The fans have seen me in small doses, but not throughout a full season or a 30-40 game spell where I have done well consistently.
‘There’s always more to come, even at the age of 29 you are still trying to improve yourself, trying to get better.
‘I had that spell when the new manager came in and I played four games in a row, we were doing well, then that last injury came in.
‘It’s small doses, but not enough really. It’s now up to me to this year produce those performances if picked.’