Jackett admits Pompey ‘not always convincing’ this season

KENNY JACKETT has accepted he’s made mistakes during the campaign, but all focus now is on claiming one of the three promotion places on offer in May.

A poor start to the season saw many of the Pompey faithful question the manager’s team selection and his tactics.

But a run that has seen just three defeats in their last 17 league games has pushed Jackett’s side to the fringes of the top six, with automatic promotion as well as a play-off place now firmly in Portsmouth’s hands.

“We haven’t always been convincing and there have been stages where we haven’t quite got the side right,” said Jackett, whose saw his team register three defeats in their first seven league games. “Now we need to look forward and not back.

“We’re in a position that we need to capitalise on and there are many different types of games coming up.

“There are matches against sides above and around us in the table, while we play Bolton on Saturday, who have their own unique set of circumstances.”

After seeing Wycombe and Ipswich make the early running at the top of the table, a drop off in the form of both has seen League One concertina, with just eight points separating the top 12.

Rotherham have taken over top spot after four straight league wins but the two automatic promotion places are very much up for grabs, and Jackett is still eyeing those.

“It’s a wide-open league and we’re one of the sides still in with an opportunity of promotion, which is pleasing. I’ve seen enough previous seasons where things have changed from one month to the next, so I always felt it was there for us.

“We need to be at our best on Saturday (at Bolton) if we want to keep our winning run going, although it certainly won’t be easy. But we have to just push on and see if we can really put some more pressure on those sides above us in the table.”

With Jackett adding three loan signings and players like Jack Whatmough close to returning to full fitness, competition for places in the side is now intense.

Ellis Harrison is currently playing the central striking role in the team but he knows if any player’s standards drop, there is someone in the squad waiting to claim their spot in the starting XI.

“I’ll continue working hard to keep my shirt, but it’s certainly not a given,” said Harrison, who has nine goals in all competitions this term. “If I let up a bit then someone can snatch it from me.

“I’d rather start fewer games and we got promoted, than every one and we end up finishing down in 10th.”