Kenny Jackett hoping Tom Naylor can still improve after being honoured by Portsmouth team-mates ???????
Kenny Jackett is hoping there’s still more to come from Tom Naylor after an impressive debut season at Pompey.
The midfielder was voted the Players’ Player of the Season at the club’s annual awards dinner at Fratton Park on Wednesday.
Naylor arrived at Fratton Park on a free transfer from Burton Albion last summer, signing a three-year deal.
The former Derby County man has played a key role during the Blues’ League One promotion push this term.
He’s one of the first names on the team sheet when available, scoring two goals in 48 appearances before today’s trip to Sunderland.
Despite Matt Clarke being expected to retain the accolade he claimed last year, it was Naylor who collected the prize.
Jackett felt Pompey suffered from not having someone with the 27-year-old’s bite and tenacity last season.
And the manager feels Naylor still may not have peaked.
The manager said: ‘If you win Players’ Player of the Season, it is a very good accolade to win.
‘I do think our crowd like him as well. They respect him, they like him and respond to him well.
‘He wins the ball well and is very well respected by his team-mates, definitely.
‘He is a very consistent player and is someone who gets the team going if we’re not quite doing it – that is a big thing.
‘He’s done well this season and is quite a variable player, because he played in different set-ups at Burton.
‘We’ve settled him down in a holding-midfield role alongside a passer. That is where I think that he’s good.
‘He can also play centre-back but that’s been a good position for us this season.
‘Tom’s cemented his place in midfield and I’ve been very pleased with him in there.
‘He’s had a good first season and hopefully the best is still to come.
‘We had injuries in midfield last season but definitely the feeling was we missed someone like him.
‘He has presence, ball-winning ability and experience.’
Clarke did claim Player of the Season, which was voted for on the night.
Elsewhere, the Young Player of the Season award was handed to Ronan Curtis, following an outstanding entry into the Football League.
Pompey Women’s Player of the Year was Jade Bradley, while Joe Dandy took Scholar Of The Year.
And Jamal Lowe’s second strike in Pompey’s 4-1 victory over Oxford United in August claimed Goal of the Season.
It was an enjoyable night in Fratton Park’s Victory Lounge and Jackett was delighted to see so many fans turn out.
He added: ‘It was very good. Jamal getting Goal of the Season for that goal that wasn’t quite a crucial one!
‘But it was an excellent goal.
‘It was good for Tom, good for Matt and a very well-attended function on Wednesday night.
‘It’s good to see the passion and the enthusiasm for the club is there. Hopefully long may that continue.
‘For the players, there was a good bit of spirit.’