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Fixture News

Jackett: Wembley Won't Be The Same Without Fratton Faithful

Boss looks ahead to Papa John's Trophy final

11 March 2021

Kenny Jackett
Photo: Joe Pepler/PinPep

More than 50,000 tickets were snapped up by Pompey fans eager to savour the club’s latest trip to Wembley.

But the Papa John’s Trophy final against Salford on Saturday will instead be played inside an almost empty national stadium.

Covid-19 ensured last season’s showpiece was pushed back a year and would have to be contested behind closed doors.

Kenny Jackett is disappointed that the Fratton faithful will not get to enjoy the experience in person and hopes his side can still retain the silverware they previously lifted in 2019.

The Blues boss said: “Playing at Wembley is always exciting, although of course it would be better if the supporters were there.

“It was an amazing day when we beat Sunderland in the final in 2019 and the place was completely full.

“When you’ve got a fan-base as passionate as we have, then it’s great to include them. Wembley is special and it’s not the same without them.

“But there is a bigger picture and it does at least seem more optimistic for next season and that’s good news.

“We want to try to finish this competition off strongly and being the holders from the season before, we want to back that up.

"When you’ve got a fan-base as passionate as we have, then it’s great to include them. Wembley is special and it’s not the same without them."

Kenny Jackett

“We’ve waited a long time for this game to come around and it would be great if we could get the win on Saturday.

“Salford will be thinking exactly the same and they’re a good side, so we will need to be at the top of our game.

“Hopefully we can see a performance and result to take us into what is going to be a very important week.”

Pompey go into the contest on a poor run of league form that has seen them slip to sixth in the standings.

Jackett said: “Since the turn of the year we’ve been inconsistent and the results haven’t been what we’ve wanted.

“So we have to work it out – and quickly – and grasp the opportunities with both hands. We can’t kid ourselves and need to do better.

“It wasn’t that long ago when we were in good form and there’s a determination among the players and staff not to let this season peter out.”

Andy Cannon is likely to miss the match after limping from the field during Pompey’s midweek loss to Sunderland.

Jackett said: “He’s gone up to London to have a scan on his hamstring and he’s obviously doubtful for Saturday, so we’re just hoping it’s not too bad.

“Callum Johnson is still around a week away with his calf problem and Alex Bass has got his stress fracture, but they’re the only ones likely to miss the game.”

Click here to secure a commemorarive ticket for the game and help raise funds for Pompey in the Community's Covid response service.

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