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Fixture News

Jackett: League Our Main Focus

Boss looks ahead to Blackpool test

10 January 2019

Kenny Jackett
Photo: Joe Pepler/PinPep

Pompey are fighting on three fronts in what has been a successful season to date.

There are Fratton fixtures against QPR in the fourth round of the FA Cup and Peterborough in the Checkatrade Trophy quarter-finals on the horizon.

But it is trying to maintain their position at the League One summit that most concerns Kenny Jackett.

And with Blackpool visiting the south coast this weekend, his only focus is on trying to collect another three points.

The Blues boss said: “The cup competitions help you in different ways, such as with confidence and the development of the club.

“But the league is our number one priority and always has been, so the Blackpool game is one we really have to concentrate on.

“We’ll take the confidence that the players have and work as hard as we possibly to overcome a side who – since we’ve last played them – have had a successful time.

"The league is our number one priority and always has been."

Kenny Jackett

“They haven’t lost many games and have been able to put together a strong team, who will have genuine aspirations of the play-offs.

“Their recruitment last summer was excellent and, like all good sides, they’re built on a really solid defence. Credit to Terry McPhillips for what he’s done there since taking over.”

The start of January means plenty of speculation about comings and goings, but Jackett is hopeful the month will end with an improved Pompey squad.

He said: “It’s a busy time of year in terms of recruitment and we want to be keeping hold of our best players.

“We haven’t had any bids or enquiries – and wouldn’t welcome any. We’ll also be looking to strengthen if we can.

“Ben Thompson and Joe Mason have gone back, while Danny Rose might have a move in the offing, but we got the signing of Andy Cannon over the line pretty quickly.”

None of Pompey’s current crop of injured players will be fit in time to face the 11th-placed Seasiders on Saturday.

Jackett said: “Oli Hawkins looks like he’ll be out for the next two weekends with a calf problem, while Lee Brown will train next week.

“Nathan Thompson is likely to be the week after that and Ben Close’s injury isn’t particularly long-term either.

“Luke McGee is having some further scans on his hand and that’s one that is constantly being assessed.”

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