Matt Taylor: Keeping prized assets will be key to Portsmouth's promotion chances

Matt Taylor has backed Pompey for promotion next season – if they can retain their prized assets.

Sunday, 2nd June 2019, 3:55 pm
Matt Clarke, left, and Jamal Lowe. Picture: Joe Pepler

Kenny Jackett is again plotting the Blues’ way into the Championship this summer after his side suffered play-off semi-final defeat to Sunderland last month.

However, another campaign in the third tier could mean it’ll be difficult for Pompey to keep their best players during the transfer window. 

Matt Clarke is expected to depart – but only if the right bid comes in. Brighton is the defender’s preferred destination.

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Jamal Lowe could attract interest, with Leeds, Cardiff and Wigan rumoured to be chasing him, while Nathan Thompson has yet to sign a new deal.

Taylor, who spent six seasons at Fratton Park between 2002-08, feels Pompey keeping their core group will be key. 

If that’s the case then the 37-year-old sees no reason why Jackett’s side won’t again be challenging at the top of the table.

Speaking to 888sport, Taylor said: ‘Having witnessed the semi-final against Sunderland I felt Portsmouth were the better team and I don’t think there will be any play-off hangover.

‘Kenny Jackett has been extremely successful and he’s a well-liked and knowledgeable man. 

‘The problem may lie in keeping hold of their better players.

‘Matt Clarke looks like he could be going on to bigger things which isn’t a surprise. 

‘So it depends if they can hang on to their core group because if they can they will do well again next season.

‘What I do know is that regardless of what happens they are going to have 18,000 fans roaring their team on and that team will give them good football and give it 100% which is what Kenny Jackett teams do.

‘It’s not easy to retain your best players in League One. If you have a player who is having a good season then bigger clubs sniff around.

‘But I don’t see huge changes at the club for Kenny with maybe three or four players coming in and hopefully they can also retain their best players.’