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Fixture News

Jackett: A Vital Period

Boss looks ahead to Southend test

14 February 2019

Kenny Jackett
Photo: Joe Pepler/PinPep

It is a stage of the season that could prove pivotal for Pompey’s promotion hopes.

The next fortnight includes League One tests against Southend, Bristol Rovers, Barnsley and Bradford.

Throw in a Checkatrade Trophy trip to Bury with a Wembley place at stake and it is sure to be an exciting period.

And Kenny Jackett knows what his side need to do in order to make sure they keep competing on two fronts.

The Blues boss said: “Momentum and confidence are big things. They’re both hard-earned and can slip away from you.

“Wins are what we need and what we want – we’re not satisfied with draws and defeats and always want to do better.

"It could be a season-defining period and we want to really get things going."

Kenny Jackett

“There has been a bit more fluency and more of a pattern in recent weeks and the side is starting to settle into an efficient unit again.

“We’re going in a vital couple of weeks now of five games in 15 days – starting with a really big test at Southend.

“It could be a season-defining period and we want to really get things going. You need a high points total if you want to go up automatically.

“Those sides that have success do well consistently, so where we know where the bar is and that’s what we’re aiming for.

“There are three sides that will get promoted this season and we want to be one of them – we’re certainly in the hunt.”

First up is a visit to Roots Hall to face a Southend side – in front of the Sky Sports cameras – currently in 14th position.

Jackett said: “We’re comfortable that we can beat the best in the division, but every side in the league will have their own reasons for wanting to do well.

“Southend have got a lot of very good players and an experienced manager, so they’ll be doing everything they can to win this game.

“While we know about their strengths and weaknesses, I’m more concerned that we play to our potential and that we can get the most out of our squad.”

Pompey will likely be missing Dion Donohue against Southend, but Jackett has no new injury concerns.

He said: “Dion probably won’t make it this weekend with his ankle, while we have Andy Cannon, Luke McGee and Jack Whatmough injured.

“Other than that we’ve got a clean bill of health, with everyone fit, available and looking forward to the weekend.”

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