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Fixture News

Jackett: We Can Be A League One Force

Boss looks ahead to Wigan test

24 August 2017

Pompey manager Kenny Jackett

There is an interesting sideshow to this weekend’s league visit to Wigan.

The hosts are now managed by the man who memorably led Pompey to the League Two title last season.

Paul Cook is sure to get plenty of attention from the travelling support – from those grateful for his contribution to those disappointed by his exit.

It is a situation the man who replaced him in the Fratton dug-out understands, but Kenny Jackett is more concerned with facing a side yet to drop a point this term.

The Blues boss said: “We’re going to have a lot of supporters going up to watch us and to see the former manager – hopefully that scenario can work in our favour.

“Those kind of situations get thrown up all the time and if it can motivate the crowd and the players, then we’ll use that.

"Saturday will be a very good barometer of where we are in this division and what we still need to do."

Kenny Jackett

“But Wigan have been a force in this division before and, looking at their squad, I’m sure they will be again.

“Along with Blackburn, they’ve probably got the most firepower in this division, but we want to test ourselves against the best.

“It’s up to us to rise to the occasion and we’ve got to make sure that, despite a transition period, we can be a force at this level.

“Saturday will be a very good barometer of where we are in this division and what we still need to do.

“The players have shown a good attitude and have trained extremely hard – we’re looking forward to the game.”

Jackett was impressed by the performance of the reserves earlier in the week, with a 1-0 victory over Southend securing progress to the group stage of the Premier League Cup.

He said: “We managed to get ahead early and then it was backs against the wall for a lot of the game.

“But the boys showed good character and were able to scrap out a very good win, which opens up a few more matches for us.

“The likes of Jack Whatmough, Bradon Haunstrup and Adam May all did well in that competition last season – and now they’re in the first team.”

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