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Fixture News

Jackett Happy To Have Fratton Friendly

Boss believes FC Utrecht will provide a tough test

27 July 2018

Kenny Jackett

The preparations are almost over and the 2018/19 campaign is about to begin.

But first there is the small matter of one final friendly against a top-flight European outfit at Fratton Park.

Dutch side FC Utrecht are the opponents on Saturday (1pm kick-off) and are sure to provide the toughest test yet.

It is a challenge Kenny Jackett is eagerly anticipating as he finalises his plans for the opening League One clash with Luton.

The Blues boss said: “Looking at where they finished last season and the overall profile of the club, it’s a great game for us.

“We had a decent workout against a very good Brighton team earlier in the week and I would expect it to be the same on Saturday.

"You always want the win, but we’re also looking for patterns, confidence and to get match ready ahead of Luton."

Kenny Jackett

“It’s an advantage to be playing at Fratton Park because – including the cup match – we have three of our first four fixtures at home.

“We wanted one game on our turf before we start the season and it gives our new signings the chance to bed in.

“You always want the win, but we’re also looking for patterns, confidence and to get match ready ahead of Luton.

“I always enjoy pre-season and it’s a vital period if you can get your squad together. It can underpin a successful campaign.

“We’ve worked hard and have had a lot of games to make sure we’re not only physically fit, but also match fit.

“There have had to be slight modifications because of the heat, although I’m sure it will be hot on August 4, so at least we’ll be used to it.”

Ben Close (hamstring) and Dion Donohue (illness) both trained on Thursday, as they step-up their recovery programmes.

Jackett said: “Ben will be looking for some game time now by the end of the week, which is good. He’s worked hard.

“Dion’s a little bit behind and is still feeling quite weak. He’ll only do parts of sessions and we’ll see how he recovers over the next 10 days.”

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