Kenny Jackett fires promotion message to Portsmouth fringe players

Kenny Jackett has challenged Pompey’s shadow squad to be ready for the promotion finale.

Tuesday, 9th April 2019, 8:38 pm
Updated Tuesday, 9th April 2019, 8:47 pm
Kenny Jackett has urged his fringe players to be ready for duty during the promotion run-in. Picture: Daniel Chesterton/

The Blues are faced with six League One matches to claim second spot, thereby earning a place in the Championship next season.

Up to three additional fixtures could follow if they are instead handed play-off involvement.

Jackett has rediscovered Pompey’s winning formula following the post-Christmas slump which saw them toppled from top spot.

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It’s a period which signalled first-team recalls for Brett Pitman, Christian Burgess and Ben Close following time on the sidelines.

Subsequently, all started the Chackatrade Trophy final at Wembley, rich reward for fine form since their return.

Similarly, Jackett is adamant other squad members can yet play crucial parts during the pivotal run-in.

He said: ‘As a manager, you can’t do it with 11, you can’t be successful over a long period of time.

‘You have to continually work at individual routines because we all think of ourselves to a great degree.

‘Players are always looking at how it affects them and how it affects their career, which is natural, but if you're going to achieve anything you need to do it as a group.

‘There is no easy way to do it, but you have to continually work at it.

‘One of Alex Ferguson’s famous quotes is how there’s no way of keeping players out of the team happy – and it is like that to a degree.

‘But similarly, we have to tell players out of the team what they need to do to get back in, whether that’s work at A, B and C or simply do what you are doing and be patient.

‘My message is to be ready – you have to be ready because football changes.

‘There are guys who have responded very well and come back into the team during the second half of the season to help us.’

James Vaughan and Brandon Haunstrup have been regular presences on the bench, while loanee Lloyd Isgrove is still to make his debut.

Louis Dennis has failed to be included in the last 11 squads, with Adam May not featuring for two months.

Jackett added: ‘There’s definitely a time limit that a player listens, some people are more patient than others.

‘At some stage they obviously think it will be best to move on if they don’t get into the team or haven’t been in the 18 for a quite a while.

‘It’s an individual thing and does go on contractual situations as well.’