The inside track on how the Portsmouth dressing room reacted to Kenny Jackett's departure

Members of Pompey's dressing room have admitted they let Kenny Jackett down which culminated in the manager's departure.

Monday, 15th March 2021, 5:30 pm

Now Joe Gallen wants those who feel that way to harness their emotions in a bid to reignite the Blues’ League One promotion push.

Pompey had been in bleak form, winning just one league match in seven before being humbled by League Two Salford in the Papa John’s Trophy final at Wembley.

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That caused chief executive Mark Catlin to relieve Jackett of his duties.

Sections of fans felt the players had downed tools for Jackett and that’s why performances jettisoned.

But assistant-boss Gallen, who will take charge when Pompey travel to Peterborough tomorrow, insists that wasn’t the case.

Kenny Jackett stands in front of his Pompey players after leading them out at Wembley - only to be relieved of his duties the following day. Picture: Joe Pepler

He told The News: ‘I think the players feel disappointed and feel disappointed in themselves.

‘A couple of players have said to me they feel like they've let the manager down. I've said if that's how they feel then that's their opinion and they have to prove it against Peterborough and Ipswich.

‘We have two big games coming up so if they feel disappointed then they've got to use it as a tool at Peterborough because we want to win.

‘We want to get back into the top six again. We have the players to do it and it's about time we start winning games again and putting in good performances.

‘The players were disappointed but have got to use that to kick on because they're the ones who're still here.

‘Every single player has been in touch with Kenny by text or phone. All the players still have a lot of respect for Kenny and there was no lost changing room.’

Gallen reckons a lack of confidence was behind Pompey’s plummet.

He added: ‘Confidence can drain away when we're not scoring goals and conceding silly ones.

‘The only way to regain confidence is to give it 100 per cent and more, galvanise that team spirit we had and we might have to grind a result out.

‘That's what the aim is going forward.’