Warning shot fired as Kenny Jackett sets out Portsmouth attacking challenge ahead of Shrewsbury visit

Kenny Jackett has tasked his Pompey players to relocate their shooting boots following Tuesday night’s 1-0 defeat at Coventry.

Friday, 14th February 2020, 10:45 am
Updated Friday, 14th February 2020, 4:47 pm

The Blues saw their record-breaking nine-match winning run come to an end following substitute Matt Godden’s solitary strike on 84 minutes at St Andrew’s.

That saw the Fratton Park outfit some lose ground in the race for automatic promotion, although they do remain in the play-off places with game(s) in hand on all teams above them bar the Sky Blues.

The League One defeat also represented the first time in 25 outings that the Blues had failed to score – a sequence which dated back to the 1-0 loss at AFC Wimbledon on October 19, 2019.

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In total, Pompey registered 10 attempts on goal against Coventry in midweek, with only three on target.

That included substitute Ellis Harrison’s effort from point-blank range within minutes of coming on as a 63rd-minute sub – an effort that was matched by the reactions of home keeper Marko Marosi.

But despite the Sky Blues No1’s heroics in that instance, Pompey didn’t do enough in front of goal to warrant a change in the scoreline.

And that’s something Jackett is keen to rectify, starting with Shrewsbury’s visit to Fratton Park on Saturday.

Ellis Harrison at full stretch in front of goal in the dying seconds of Tuesday night's 1-0 defeat at Coventry. Picture: Kieran Cleeves

Speaking on the club’s YouTube channel, the manager said: ‘We were on top for long periods of that game.

‘And if you don’t score in those periods it can hurt you at the other end, we know that.

‘We have to take responsibility ourselves, and while we had a good lock on the game, we didn't find the shots, we didn’t find the goals.

‘Ultimately, that’s cost us and we have to take responsibility ourselves.

Pompey manager Kenny Jackett. Picture: Kieran Cleeves

‘There wasn't a lot wrong, couldn't say we went up to Birmingham's ground to play Coventry and were outclassed, there was a lot wrong.

‘But in terms of finding the shots, we have to find more shots than we did than the other night.

‘They defended well, but we have to address that if we want to go forward.’

According to BBC match-day stats, Pompey registered a total of 90 shots from seven of the nine fixtures that incorporated their recent winning run (does not include EFL Trophy games against Walsall and Scunthorpe).

Meanwhile, 32 of those efforts were on target.

That produced an average of 12.85 shots per game and 4.5 shots on target respectively in the same time frame.

Pompey’s Coventry stats prove Jackett correct in his assessment of his team’s midweek attacking threat.

But with Shrewsbury next up, the manager knows they’ll face a well-drilled side that concede, on average, 1.13 goals per game this season in League One.

At present, results show that the Blues concede an average of 1.03 goals per game and score 1.48 per outing.

Jackett added: ‘They (Shrewbury) are a side with a very good defensive record and play five at the back as a high number of sides do now, it's swung that way.'Obviously, by this stage of the season, everyone will know quite a lot about each other – we'll know them and they'll know us – that will be the case.

‘But paying our opposition respect, through our work and through our analysis, it's about our team, our players wanting to bring our crowd into play positively.‘We have a fantastic home crowd and when we put on the performances, which we have done in the main this season, we've got a fantastic atmosphere at Fratton Park.‘That's our challenge and we look forward to it.’