Verdict: Several Portsmouth issues Kenny Jackett needs to resolve ahead of south-coast derby with Southampton

Pompey boss Kenny Jackett. Picture: Joe Pepler
Pompey boss Kenny Jackett. Picture: Joe Pepler
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Kenny Jackett has several issues that need swiftly resolving. 

That's the verdict of The News’ chief sports writer Neil Allen speaking on the latest edition of Pompey Talk.

The Blues' slow start to the League One campaign continued as they salvaged a 2-2 draw against Burton last night. 

Brett Pitman’s last-gasp penalty rescued Jackett’s side point, although it was a dismal display from the hosts. 

Pompey conceded twice within seven minutes then struggled to respond despite having a numerical advantage for more than an hour after Brewers defender John-Joe O’Toole was sent off. 

Allen believes there are numerous positional problems Jackett needs to address for the trip to Wycombe on Saturday and the highly-anticipated south-coast derby with Southampton next week. 

They include who’ll feature at centre-back, right-back, central midfield and in the number-10 role. 

Speaking to Pompey Talk, Allen said: ‘There are so many issues that keep popping up.

‘It’s not one problem that needs resolving, there are a lot out there and it is worrying.

‘Jackett always likes the same system and formation but he’s got Tom Naylor in the centre of defence so he can also get Ross McCrorie in the team.

'Pompey are missing Naylor in front of the defence. His centre-back partnership is makeshift, as is Christian Burgess at right-back, although that can be resolved when James Bolton is fit to come in.

‘But what’s Jackett going to do about central defence? Sean Raggett wasn’t even on the bench last night and he was brought in to replace Matt Clarke on the left-hand side. Suddenly who goes centre-half?

‘Ben Close doesn’t look as good next to McCrorie as he did to Naylor so you’re weakening Close's game. All these things have cropped up.

‘Right-back isn’t a problem and can be solved. When that is solved, does Jackett put Burgess back in central defence and Naylor in midfield? 

‘I feel sorry for Burgess. It's a very difficult job he’s taken on at the moment although he put some decent balls in and his cross led to the first goal.

‘But you don’t want to see your centre-half on the right wing having more touches than most. 

‘Bolton I imagine will play on Saturday and let’s not criticise him because we haven’t seen enough of him yet and give him a run in the team.

'But then Jackett’s got to solve the issue of centre-half, central midfield, what's he going to do about Brett Pitman, John Marquis hasn't kick-started yet, the right-hand side of midfield and Ronan Curtis’ form. 

‘It’s very negative but there are so many things unfortunately – and there’s a little game next Tuesday.’

Watch the rest of Pompey Talk on the video above...