Kenny Jackett calls for defensive improvement on eve of Scunthorpe clash

Portsmouth manager Kenny Jackett has called on his team to improve their defensive record on the eve of the visit Scunthorpe United to Fratton Park.

Speaking to the Portsmouth News, Jackett stressed that it was down to the whole team to improve their record not just the back four.

The Pompey manager was addressing concerns over his team’s poor defensive record in 2019. After conceding just nineteen goals in the first half of the season, which was the best record in the division, his team have since shipped twenty-two goals in the subsequent fourteen games as they’ve slipped from the top of the table into the playoff positions.

Jackett has no concerns over his side’s ability in the final third of the pitch, having scored sixty-four goals this term, the joint second-placed record in the division. However, he is disappointed how many Pompey have conceded of late.

Jackett said. ‘We will try to keep our attacking intent and do everything we can to keep our goals tally high but try to tighten up at the back.’

‘You have to judge both as a team. It’s too simple to say your forwards score, and your defenders defend.’

Pompey have kept only one clean sheet in the league since the turn of the year but have a good record at home, having lost just one of their last nine games at Fratton Park in all competitions. They won last time out at Walsall and will face a much improved Scunthorpe side who have climbed the table since a very active and productive January transfer window from manager Stuart McCall.

The Iron thrashed Southend United 4-1 last time out but that was at home, and they have recently faltered away, losing their last three games away from Glanford Park.

Our View

Losing the impressive Jack Whatmough to injury at the start of February has proved to be a massive blow for Pompey.

He formed a formidable partnership with Matt Clarke and Pompey have not been the same at the back since his injury.

While fans will not have given up hope of snatching an automatic spot, the failure of Jackett to deal with defensive frailties in the second half of the season has brought criticism from some Pompey supporters who have seen their team slip from being the division’s stand out performers to playoff contenders.

I take them to win on Saturday and further consolidate their position in the top six.

However, If Jackett fails to get them back in the Championship at the end of May, his position may well come under further scrutiny.


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