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Fixture News

Jackett: Just Another Game

Boss looks ahead to Plymouth test

23 November 2017

Pompey manager Kenny Jackett

There is no doubt that a rivalry exists between Pompey and Plymouth.

Attempting to force a ‘derby’ tag on the fixture is taking things too far, but the sides have enjoyed some epic contests in recent years.

The Pilgrims triumphed in the 2016 play-offs, while it was the Hampshire club who ultimately came out on top in the quest for the title last term.

So for supporters – and probably some of the players – Saturday’s Fratton fixture might have some added prominence.

But for Kenny Jackett, it is simply the latest match in an ongoing task to collect as many League One points as possible.

The Blues boss said: “I’ve been told a lot about this game recently, but it’s not something we should concentrate on too much.

“There has to be a competitive edge to a team, although you can’t let that take the focus off what’s important because we’re here to build a winning team.

"We have to look at what we need to do in order to win the game and the areas we need to improve in."

Kenny Jackett

“Both clubs obviously know a lot about each other after battling to get out of League Two in recent years. They were two very big clubs in that division.

“Now we have to look at what we need to do in order to win the game and the areas we need to improve in as we aim to bounce back from a loss.

“Plymouth have found it tough at times at a higher level, although that’s only to be expected and they have put a good run of results together of late.”

Jackett will be without the suspended Christian Burgess against Argyle and does not think skipper Brett Pitman will be fit enough to feature.

He said: “Brett’s quite optimistic and thinks he’ll be able to play, which shows you how close he is.

“But I would think that we would probably err on the side of caution on Saturday and that he’s a major doubt. You can’t really take risks with hamstrings.

“Christian is an experienced defender who has done well since I came to the club. He misses one game and we feel we have enough to cover that.

“You want competition in the squad, though, if you want to be a Championship side. There are three promotion places every year and we want one of them.

“When certain people are out then you need your other strong players to come in and make sure results don’t suffer.”

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