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Fixture News

Jackett’s Forward Focus

Boss looks ahead to FA Cup test

29 November 2018

Kenny Jackett
Photo: Joe Pepler/PinPep

Pompey’s attacking quartet have all contributed to a scintillating first half of the 2018/19 season.

Ronan Curtis, Gareth Evans, Oli Hawkins and Jamal Lowe have each notched seven times to jointly lead the club’s scoring charts.

It has helped open up a four-point gap over Sunderland at the top of the League One table with the midway point approaching.

And – with attention now switching to Sunday’s Emirates FA Cup trip to Rochdale – Kenny Jackett is delighted with their impact.

The Blues boss said: “We’re always looking to strike the right balance, just the same as everyone else.

“As the midfield has grown stronger with Tom Naylor and Ben Thompson, that’s helped promote the front players.

"All the guys have shown good form from the start of the season and so it’s been easy for me to back them."

Kenny Jackett

“Each of them have different qualities and are working hard in the system that we feel is effective at this level.

“The four of them combine well together and we also want the players behind them to be able to step in and make an impact.

“All the guys have shown good form from the start of the season and so it’s been easy for me to back them and let them find consistency.”

Now Pompey will aim to reach the third round of the FA Cup for the first time in three seasons when they head to Spotland on Sunday.

Jackett said: “It is such a great competition and it’s one that we are really eager to progress in if we can.

“It was a hard-fought win at Rochdale earlier in the season and both teams will certainly know a lot about each other.

“If you want to go far then you will have to come through many different tests and we had a tricky away tie at a non-league club in the first round.

“Now we’ve got a team from our level – also away from home – and hopefully we can go through and draw one of the big boys.”

Jackett does not have too many injury concerns as Pompey continue their hectic run of games at the end of 2018.

He said: “Dave Wheeler is struggling for the weekend, with a back/hamstring injury from Tuesday night.

“I don’t think that Joe Mason will be fit for this weekend, with his groin still slightly sore, while the only other one out is Dion Donohue.”

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