Portsmouth set to send out strong Carabao Cup side in search for rhythm against Birmingham

Kenny Jackett admitted new-look Pompey have to quickly find their rhythm.

Tuesday, 6th August 2019, 6:30 am

And that means it looks likely the Blues boss will send a strong team into Carabao Cup action against Birmingham.

Pompey open this year’s competition tonight, with their first-round clash against the Championship side being televised on Sky Sports.

It’s a quick return to action after the League One curtain-raiser against Shrewsbury on Saturday.

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Jackett’s men came away from Shropshire empty-handed despite dominating possession, enjoying 63 per cent of the ball.

Pompey also clocked up 15 shots on goal and had 10 corners, which they didn’t threaten nearly enough from.

Pompey boss Kenny Jackett. Picture: Simon Davies

The temptation could be to make wholesale changes for the visit of Pep Clotet’s side.

But Jackett values the chance to get his side to bed in at Fratton Park.

He said: ‘There’s competition now so we need to settle down and find a rhythm, because it was a frustrating first day for us.

‘There’s potential in the group and I think we should recognise that. There’s a lot of potential in the group.

‘But we have to do it quickly and take responsibility to do it.’

There was undoubtedly plus points to take from the Shrewsbury opener, despite the result going against Pompey.

Jackett’s side looked solid and business-like and it was clear it was going to take something special to open them up.

That came, however, in the shape of Ryan Giles’ superb finish on his league debut, as the visitors failed to make the most of territory.

Jackett could take positives from the game - but he wasn’t prepared to let that paper over the shortcomings which need to be addressed.

He added: ‘It’s early days, yes, I understand that but we have to be honest about where we are.

‘Ultimately, we have to look to where we can improve.

‘We spoke about what we needed to do to win that game.

‘I thought man for man we’ve got some good players but we need to find our feet.’