Thompson's versatility an insight into Jackett's Pompey philosophy

Despite being in League One next season, Pompey can expect much of what they experienced in the fourth tier of the Football League ladder.

Monday, 26th June 2017, 6:00 pm
Updated Tuesday, 18th July 2017, 8:31 am
Pompey's newest recruit, Nathan Thompson Picture: Colin Farmery

A trip to Fratton Park was deemed a cup final for away teams in League Two – their big day out.

And in attempts not to spoil the party, visiting game plans often centred on parking the bus and frustrating the hosts.

Paul Cook deployed a 4-2-3-1 formation and championed a philosophy he drilled into his players to counteract such situations – dictate the game, dominate possession and your rewards will come.

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It was a tried-and-tested system the Liverpudlian truly believed in and rarely ventured away from.

To his credit, Cook’s approach worked and the Blues won the League Two title in the most dramatic of circumstances.

But at times it was unpleasant to watch and left sections of the Fratton faithful disgruntled.

When Pompey did eventually unlock their opponents’ rearguard, fans were often annoyed with how long it took or the manner in which the breakthrough occurred.

Judging by early vibes, that is the polar opposite of what Blues fans can expect under Kenny Jackett.

And the signing of Nathan Thompson has given an insight to the new Pompey boss’ strategy at PO4.

The 26-year-old can function in a number of positions – right-back, centre-half and in central midfield.

Jackett’s assistant, Joe Gallen, lauded Thompson’s versatility and highlighted how having a plan B will be in crucial to their forthcoming League One campaign.

‘You need at least two systems to be successful,’ Pompey’s assistant manager said.

‘Teams work you out. You have to change if you’re winning or losing, and Nathan compliments that.’

Away teams will still be parking the bus in League One at Fratton Park.

Cook would constantly hammer one area and wait for the wall to crumble.

However, Jackett is a shrewd strategist who pays close attention to detail.

The 55-year-old will take a backward step, assess the situation and trial different ways of breaking back fours down.

Jackett will make changes to his plan A, whether they are subtle or the complete opposite.

It may not prove right all the time, but it is a refreshing approach.

Seeing Jackett chasing three points will be greeted warmly by the Fratton faithful, meaning they’ll maintain support instead of expressing grievance.