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Fixture News

Jackett: Pressure A Privilege

Boss excited by Sunderland test

15 August 2019

Kenny Jackett
Photo: Joe Pepler/PinPep

The attendance for Pompey’s game at Sunderland on Saturday will likely be the largest they experience in the league this season.

Their north-east hosts regularly attract gates of more than 30,000 for matches held at the Stadium of Light.

The sides met on five separate occasions last term, although both have made changes to their squad over the summer.

But Kenny Jackett does not expect to see any cases of stage fright, even with the contest being beamed live around the world.

The Blues boss said: “There is always pressure, but we’re in professional football and we’re paid to deal with that.

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“You get it at both big and small clubs and it’s something that goes with the territory. It’s a privilege to have it.

“It will be a great atmosphere on Saturday. They had 33,000 in for the last home game, although I don’t know if the early start will affect that.

"There is always pressure, but we’re in professional football and we’re paid to deal with that."

Kenny Jackett

“The stage is a big one and it’s going to be a really tough test, but it’s certainly one that we’re all really relishing.

“Both teams have changed quite a lot since last season and I’m personally really looking forward to it.

“We competed very well with them in the past and want to do the same again – it’s also live on television, which gives us a great chance to showcase our talents.

“Sunderland have ambitions to get out of this league and will be there or thereabouts, although I’m concentrating on my own team.

“You want to fall into a pattern as soon as possible and we produced a positive week at home last week, but this is now a different test.”

Ben Close has been in impressive form for Pompey of late, netting stunning strikes in each of the past two games.

Jackett said: “I’ve always thought that if he could find the right areas, then his technique was certainly good enough.

“One of his strengths is being able to receive the ball and get it out from his stronger right foot really quickly.

“We’re really pleased with his progress and now we’re looking for the likes of Andy Cannon to add goals to his game.

“It was frustrating for him last season, but he’s got his head down, worked incredibly hard and played well.”


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