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Jackett: Hit The Ground Running

Boss knows his players have to be prepared for football’s resumption

27 April 2020

Kenny Jackett
Photo: Joe Pepler/PinPep

There is still plenty of debate about when – or even if – the 2019/20 football season will resume.

But the EFL have, like their Premier League counterparts, signalled their preference for the current campaign to be completed.

If it does, then Pompey will find themselves flung right back into a closely-fought battle for promotion to the Championship.

And with nine league games potentially left to play, Kenny Jackett knows they will have to come charging out of the blocks.

The Blues boss said: “It will feel like a new season with the amount of time that we’ve been off, although the players won’t have been able to go away on holiday.

“They are still ticking over and working hard to make sure they’re ready for what’s effectively a nine-game campaign.

“We’ll have to try to get some friendly matches in and one or two players who were injured will be back, which is good news.

"Our aim is to get up into the Championship and we’re currently fourth, so we have a great chance of doing that."

Kenny Jackett

“But we need to hit the ground running from the very first game, although it will be slightly different football.

“It was the middle of a winter period when we left, with a lot of rain, while it will likely be the summer when we return.

“Our aim is to get up into the Championship and we’re currently fourth, so we have a great chance of doing that.”

If the season can be completed, then social distancing guidelines means matches will probably take place behind closed doors.

Jackett said: “I think it will be different, but motivation levels shouldn’t be any less – I wouldn’t expect that from myself, my staff or the players.

“We’ve always been of the opinion that the Pompey crowd – both home and away – is a major asset for us.

“If that’s not there, then the quality of our play and our winning mentality has to still come out on top.”

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