Why Kenny Jackett wasn't surprised Ipswich sold Ellis Harrison to promotion-rivals Portsmouth

Pompey boss Kenny Jackett wasn’t surprised Ipswich rubber-stamped Ellis Harrison's summer switch to a promotion rival.

Friday, 20th December 2019, 4:45 pm
Updated Friday, 20th December 2019, 6:59 pm

The striker gears up to face his former side when the Tractor Boys travel to Fratton Park tomorrow.

Harrison moved to the Blues from Portman Road for a fee of around £450,000 in June.

He departed the Suffolk side after just one season, scoring once in 19 appearances as they were relegated from the Championship.

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Harrison’s been a hit so far on the south coast, though, bagging eight goals in 21 outings, and has been praised for his work-rate.

At the start of the campaign, both clubs were well fancied to reach the second tier – which is why some supporters didn’t expect Harrison to join Pompey.

But that never crossed Jackett’s mind as he secured the signing of a long-term target of his.

The Blues manager said: ‘I don’t think so (being a surprise) because as a manager you generally have to balance the books.

Ellis Harrison celebrates scoring against Southend. Picture: Robin Jones

‘You can’t keep everybody and it might be best if you want to bring one or two in yourself that you have to let someone go.

‘Similarly, if they are looking to move on then that is the way of football. You can’t just hold people because they might do something somewhere else.

‘All you have got to focus on is trying to do well in terms of your own team.

‘People move on, people need a fresh challenge for lots of different reasons.’

Harrison’s currently Pompey’s joint-top scorer, alongside Ronan Curtis, with eight goals so far this season.

And Jackett’s been pleased with the Welshman’s development in the short time he’s been with the club.

He added: ‘Ellis has progressed and improved. If you can get crosses in, he is a threat.

‘In our last home game, there was a good turn and strike for his goal (against Peterborough).

‘At Accrington, he had a good strike and the keeper made a good save. There has been some progress in the number-nine position and hopefully his confidence is growing.

‘He got 14 goals in his last season in this division with Bristol Rovers. With a regular place, can he get higher than that?

‘Him and Ronan are both on eight and we spread our goals around.

‘I’d want the same rather than necessarily one prolific scorer and, in my 4-2-3-1 system, the number nine is a really important position.’