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Boss Targets Big Finish

Jackett still aiming high ahead of Gillingham clash

8 March 2018

Pompey manager Kenny Jackett

Kenny Jackett has not let a poor run of form dampen his ambitions.

Despite having won just twice since the turn of the year, Pompey are only four points adrift of the play-off spots.

So it is certainly still an achievable target, even if the finish line for the season is starting to loom into view.

And Jackett knows that a positive result against Gillingham at Fratton Park on Saturday could provide the spark for a winning run.

The Blues boss said: “We had a weekend off because of the weather and since then it’s been a hard week of training, which we’ve needed.

“It was pretty even in our last game against Blackpool, but we ran out of options and not much happened in the final stages.

"The bar’s high in terms of what we want to do and we’ve seen other teams win fixtures on the trot to climb into the top six."

Kenny Jackett

“So we’ve refocused and realigned the players, setting them their tasks. We’ve talked about Gillingham and also the rest of the season.

“The bar’s high in terms of what we want to do and we’ve seen other teams win fixtures on the trot to climb into the top six.

“That’s still there for us, but we need a good run and have to focus on trying to win each game that comes along.

“We’ll have to see where it takes us and if it’s not quite enough to reach the play-offs – which is our number one target – then we still have to finish strongly with a view to attacking the division next season.

“It’s quite a young group, but we have the character and quality, and are very much looking forward to Saturday.”

Gillingham looked set for a battle against the drop, but with just two defeats in the past 13 games, they now have loftier ambitions.

Jackett said: “The first period of the season saw them in and around the relegation places, but they’ve been on a great run, even though they lost to Bury in their last game.

“I’m sure they’ll also be looking for that big finish in order to chase a play-off place, so we’ve analysed their strengths and weaknesses.

“But our focus is more on what we do and we’re determined to put things right to return to winning ways.”

Gareth Evans and Brett Pitman are getting closer to full fitness, but neither will feature against the Gills.

Jackett said: “We’re selecting from the same group of players that would have been available against Bradford, but nobody else is back from injury.”

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