Kenny Jackett's difficult balancing act as he bids to deliver a Portsmouth winning formula

Defensive solidity achieved – now Kenny Jackett is striving to achieve a delicate equilibrium.

Friday, 25th October 2019, 7:00 am
Ross McCrorie, right centre, was brought into the Pompey defensive line-up for the midweek win against Lincoln Picture: Joe Pepler

The Blues have conceded just three goals in their past six League One matches – a return which gives them the second-best rearguard record in the division.

Nonetheless, Jackett craves more from his side – primarily as an attacking force.

With the Christian Burgess and Sean Raggett axis established, plus the return of Lee Brown, finally Pompey's defence is proving a miserly presence.

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Yet there remains a balancing act to fulfil – and Pompey’s boss has called upon his team to raise their attacking game at Bristol Rovers on Saturday.

Jackett said: ‘Having a settled central-defensive partnership has helped, maybe also Lee Brown’s experience coming back.

‘Similarly, while I did think we are improving and improving defensively, just maybe getting somebody down the right-hand side that can really bring the ball out is something we need.

‘That’s the balance, the right combinations of both attack and defence.

‘We hope our defensive record keeps going and gives a base to go off, but we would like to be free-flowing going forward.

‘Whether we create chances or not, whether we are clinical or not, or need a high amount of chances to score, we want to be adding goals.

‘You target zeroes and ones from your defensive record, it gives you a chance of earning points, yet that can’t always be at the detriment of going forward.

‘There is a balance, but it’s a good run and one we hope to continue.’

In terms of the Burgess/Raggett partnership, they have conceded two goals in five matches.

While Brown has been part of a side which has conceded twice since returning from injury four games ago.

Jackett added: ‘You must have one of the best defensive records in the league if you want to be successful.

‘The defensive record keeps you in the game – then you can look at the side going forward to hopefully take it one step more.

‘I do feel we have improved. Having a settled defensive partnership has probably helped.’