Kenny Jackett demands 'proactive' defending from Portsmouth troops

The importance of remaining ‘proactive’ has been drilled into Pompey’s players.

Friday, 1st November 2019, 6:00 am
Kenny Jackett has ordered his Pompey side to be 'proactive' in their fixture with Oxford United. Picture: Graham Hunt/ProSportsImages

And Kenny Jackett is banking on the tactical lesson finally eradicating the Blues’ late-match woes.

Pompey have been deprived of three points in their past two away fixtures following stoppage-time goals.

Added to an 83rd-minute penalty conceded at Wycombe and the Coventry debacle, it's a vulnerability threatening to destroy promotion aspirations.

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The solution, according to Jackett, lies in retaining a proactive attitude, refusing to sit deep, stopping the gifting of cheap free-kicks.

Fulfilment could signify an improved points haul.

Jackett said: ‘We have to make sure we are proactive in our defending.

‘The best form of defending is interception, pressing, stepping up and making sure we block crosses. If we can, try to hold a brave line, a high line, and generally be proactive.

‘Let’s keep people out of our box and give the goalkeeper space to work if the crosses are coming in.

‘Be proactive with our defending and try to reduce those situations.

‘In the future, should we get ourselves into a strong position, like we have done a few times this year, it needs to overall be a proactive approach.

‘I have spoken to the players and I think they have taken it in, but it’s a world from talking and then doing. It’s the same with any football, we can all talk a good game, it’s actually doing it which is a little bit different.

‘The players have taken it in, they do understand and, importantly, they agree.’

The Blues host Oxford United on Saturday, with board members Eric Eisner and Andy Redman set to be in attendance after flying over from America.

And Jackett is seeking a defensive improvement on their late downfall at the Memorial Stadium.

He added: ‘We turned what was a potentially winning performance for us into a draw.

‘We don’t want to drop deep, invite pressure, we want to be careful with the amount of free-kicks we give away.

‘There’s a thin dividing line between getting tight, blocking and competing – and then not giving free-kicks away.’