Tornante need to back Kenny Jackett financially if Portsmouth are to be promoted next season – Blues can't rely on selling prized assets

The first emotion after the final whistle was disappointment.

By Will Rooney
Saturday, 18th May 2019, 1:01 pm
Pompey boss Kenny Jackett, left, alongside chairman Michael Eisner. Picture: Joe Pepler
Pompey boss Kenny Jackett, left, alongside chairman Michael Eisner. Picture: Joe Pepler

Then the frustration arrived as Pompey’s play-off defeat to Sunderland started was scrutinised. 

But since the dust has settled after the Blues missed out on promotion, the complete picture needs to be analysed.

While there are a fair few fans frustrated Championship football won’t be returning to Fratton Park for the first time since 2012, it’s not a massive surprise.

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Pompey boss Kenny Jackett, left, alongside chairman Michael Eisner. Picture: Joe Pepler

Despite setting the pace in League One for three-and-a-half months, Pompey were always punching above their weight.

It’s an admission Lee Brown made, while supporters aplenty would have concurred.

As they sat at the summit of the table, Kenny Jackett’s men weren’t blitzing their way past teams.

Instead they were shading games, with their defensive resolve the cornerstone to grinding out results. 

Granted, the prospect of promotion which tantalised for so long this season, coupled with the underwhelming attacking displays in the two legs against Sunderland, meant fans left PO4 deflated on Thursday evening. 

But one thing is abundantly clear – there has been significant progress made in Kenny Jackett’s second season in charge.

In his maiden campaign at Fratton Park, after taking over from Paul Cook in June 2017, an eighth-place finish with 66 points was yielded.

This term, the Blues improved by four spots and 22 points. 

And that’s all on a budget akin to a side which really should be finishing upper mid-table. 

Considering Sunderland cut their outlay to £11m yet finished fifth in the table underlines the sterling job Jackett did. 

Any fan who has been calling for the 56-year-old to be handed his P45 – well. that’s wishful thinking.

Yes, the football isn’t as attractive as under Cook, but it’s a tried-and-tested method which won him promotion at Millwall and Wolves. 

Jackett is highly thought of by owners Tornante and there's evidence of improvement.

But if the Eisner family want Pompey to be playing in the Championship come the 2020-21 season then they need to back the boss financially.

Now that's not saying Tornante need to give Jackett a blank cheque book and allow him to have completely free rein. 

Pompey fans know all too well of the tribulations that can cause, while it’s something that was never promised during the takeover process. 

Slow, sustainable growth was mantra preached in the Guildhall and that’s not going to change. 

They've no doubt been putting money into the club already by making improvements to Fratton Park. 

But increasing the playing budget this summer for Jackett to get the recruits he knows can get the Blues up is a necessity.

The fees Pompey have shelled out this season haven’t exactly been a king’s ransom.

Of what we know, they paid £100,000 for Ronan Curtis and £150,000 for Andy Cannon.

Anton Walkes’ reported fee was £200,000, while the figure for Bryn Morris can’t have been much, if at all, higher.

Jackett has displayed his eye for picking out players who can become first-team regulars.

Craig MacGillivray, Tom Naylor and Lee Brown all arrived on free transfers, while Millwall loanee Ben Thompson had a barnstorming impact.

Then there’re the near arrivals of Sean Longstaff and Ryan Yates.

Longstaff established himself as a Premier League regular at Newcastle, with Manchester United now reportedly keen.

Yates, meanwhile, has become a key member of Martin O’Neill's Nottingham Forest side in the Championship. 

Pompey already have a strong nucleus they can build on next season.

But selling prized assets can’t strictly be the only method to add to the Fratton Park coffers.

A windfall from the owners is too required.