KENNY JACKETT wants his players to “put on a show” for the Fratton Park faithful when Pompey play their first home league game for four weeks on Tuesday night.
The reaction of the crowd at Portsmouth’s last home league clash is clearly still on the manager’s mind – a chorus of boos greeting the final whistle of the game against Coventry City. Pompey surrendered a 3-1 lead against the nine-man Sky Blues on August 20, with supporters questioning both the manager’s tactics and his substitutions during the game.
Since then Portsmouth have only played one league game – a 1-1 draw at Blackpool – but they have registered three cup wins including a 2-0 success at Championship side QPR in the Carabao Cup. The win at the Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium set up a mouth-watering third round clash with Southampton, and Jackett is only too aware of the need to get the fans back onside ahead of the first clash between the south coast rivals for seven-and-a-half years.
But the league is still the priority and Jackett is hoping a positive result and performance against Burton will lift the spirits amongst both players and fans, and be a springboard for a climb up the table.
“We’re looking to get that balance right between attack and defence, which we haven’t always done so far,” admitted Jackett. “But we also want to put on a show for the supporters that will get them behind us. If we do that then they can really drive us forward.
“It's still early in the season and our aim is for both performances and results to be good. We’re keen to start improving our position.
“There’s a busy run ahead that gives us a chance to hopefully find a rhythm. It’s a new group for us this season and they quickly need to find their feet in this division.”
Jackett will have Gareth Evans available for the Burton game after he missed the 3-1 EFL win over Norwich Under-21s at the weekend. The manger is also hopeful that both Marcus Harness and Lee Brown will be back on first team duty in the next two weeks.