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Fixture News

Jackett: We're Not Prioritising Sunderland Clash

Boss treating all of Pompey's festive fixtures equally

20 December 2018

Kenny Jackett
Photo: Joe Pepler/PinPep

Kenny Jackett knows that Saturday’s sell-out clash with Sunderland is an eagerly-anticipated contest.

But he does not think the top-of-the-table encounter is more important than the fixtures that immediately follow it.

Following their final test before Christmas, Pompey travel to Gillingham on Boxing Day and then end 2018 at Fleetwood.

And while Jackett knows the Black Cats will provide a tough test, he knows that a consistent run of results is needed to remain in the hunt for promotion.

The Blues boss said: “It’s a great game. When Sunderland came down into League One, everyone was looking to when they played them.

“Both clubs are very big, especially if you judge things on past success and gates, but there are a lot of strong teams at the top end of this division.

"We can’t have the attitude of a typical lower division player who produces one good performance and then has four poor games."

Kenny Jackett

“It’s no more important than we travel away to Gillingham and Fleetwood next week – those three points are there for everybody.

“There’s no point building one game up more than the other and I’ve spoken before about the points total needed to get from sixth to first.

“It’s a high amount, so we can’t have the attitude of a typical lower division player who produces one good performance and then has four poor games.

“You have to be on it every day and I have to say that our group have been consistent in their approach.”

Sunderland have been relegated in each of the past two seasons, but are currently sitting in third spot.

Jackett said: “They have realigned very well after their problems and are looking to get back to the Championship at the first attempt.

“We have to make sure that everyone’s on top form and we’ve had really good output from all our players this season. We’re going to have to make sure that’s the same again on Saturday.”

Pompey will still be without goalkeeper Luke McGee, who is recovering from a broken bone in his wrist.

Jackett said: “We’ll assess him with a scan possibly next week to see how well it has mended, but feel that we have a very capable goalkeeper in Alex Bass.

“Apart from that we’re in good shape, with Dion Donohue and David Wheeler both fit and available for the weekend.”

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