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Fixture News

Jackett: Big Week At Fratton

Boss looks ahead to Chelsea and Scunthorpe tests

8 January 2018

You play four games in the space of just 10 days and then wait more than a week for the next fixture.

So Pompey are now chomping at the bit to get back out on the pitch for back-to-back home matches.

They host promotion rivals Scunthorpe in a tantalising League One clash on Saturday, but first up is the visit of Chelsea U21s in the Checkatrade Trophy.

And Kenny Jackett knows that whoever the Londoners decide to field, they will provide his troops with a firm test.

The Blues boss said “We’ve had a week without a game after a fairly heavy schedule over Christmas.

“So the players have come in fresh and are focused on two big games in the week ahead – both of them at home.

"We understand it might be slightly different tactically to what we’re used to."

Kenny Jackett

“We’re working hard to win them both and want to progress in the Checkatrade Trophy to build up confidence and momentum ahead of the match against Scunthorpe.

“I saw Chelsea at youth and under-23 level a lot last season and know how they’ll play, although it’s not easy to guess their team selection.

“They did very well to beat MK Dons away in the last round of this competition and whatever side they put out, it will be a good one.

“We have to be ready for that and understand it might be slightly different tactically to what we’re used to.”

Danny Rose is set to miss the rest of the season after suffering a fractured tibia against Northampton at the end of 2017.

Jackett said: “I think he’s trying to get around the fact it was an innocuous incident and he’s ended up with a broken leg.

“That’s a tough one for him, but he’s got the character to overcome it. Everyone’s encouraging him and he’ll get the best treatment possible so he can return to doing what he loves.

“Stuart O’Keefe has been doing some work and he’s not 100 per cent fit yet, but we’re hoping he’ll be there or thereabouts by the end of the week.

“Kal Naismith has returned to training and there have been no problems with that, so he’ll be up for selection on Tuesday.

“Gareth Evans is perhaps a fortnight away now, while Brandon Haunstrup will be out for a bit longer."

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