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Fixture News

Jackett: Great Experience For Young Blues

Boss looks ahead to Trophy match at Oxford

7 October 2019

Kenny Jackett
Photo: Simon Davies

Pompey go into their final Trophy group fixture with the luxury of knowing that a spot in the second round has already been confirmed.

That means a young side will be fielded at the Kassam Stadium against fellow League One side Oxford on Tuesday evening.

The likes of Josh Flint and Leon Maloney have caught the eye in this competition and will likely have another chance to impress.

And while Kenny Jackett is looking for the victory that would secure top spot, he admits his main focus is on the weekend.

The Blues boss said: “We obviously want to win if we can, but the priority is facing Gillingham on Saturday.

“So it will perhaps be a younger side than usual against Oxford, although that won’t dampen our attitude or will to win.

"When the games come around, you have to pick the side that you feel is right."

Kenny Jackett

“It was a great competition for us last season and we enjoyed our success – both the earlier rounds with development players and then doing everything we could to win at Wembley.

“Every team will have one eye on the latter stages and when the games come around, you have to pick the side that you feel is right.

“It’s a big thing for those younger players because although we have Premier League Cup matches and reserve friendlies, it’s not the same as going to a league ground.

“Going to play on a terrific pitch like Oxford have can provide vital experience for our young players’ development.

“Our opponents have only played one game in this competition and will be doing everything they can to qualify.

“So the test will be a very good one for us and the likes of Leon and Josh have already done well in the earlier matches.”

Pompey go into the game on the back of Saturday’s 2-1 victory at Doncaster, which came courtesy of goals from Gareth Evans and Ellis Harrison.

Jackett said: “It was the first time we’ve had successive wins and although we’re unbeaten at home, we’d lost all three on the road.

“We needed to find some resilience and strength, particularly in our back four, which allowed us to break and score some fantastic goals.”

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