Portsmouth chairman Michael Eisner has urged Pompey fans to get behind under-fire boss Kenny Jackett and insisted a promotion push this season is not out of the question as reported by Portsmouth News.
Portsmouth host in-form Oxford United on Saturday desperate for three points after a mediocre start to the season which sees them sit a disappointing sixteenth in League One. It is a situation which has led to calls for the head of boss Kenny Jackett. Still, Eisner has confirmed his ownership of the club will not feature ‘knee-jerk’ reactions and called on the Fratton Park faithful not to ‘throw in the towel’ in pursuit of a Championship football.
Speaking via a video link to the Pompey Supporters’ Trust AGM, Eisner spelt out in no uncertain terms his support for a manager in place at Fratton since June 2017. He said: ‘Of course I am disappointed in our performance so far, it is a long season, we have all the way until May, so I am optimistic and positive.’
‘We’ve got the management, we’ve got the coaches, we’ve got a manager who I think has a history of pulling squads together and turning things around and being a winning coach.’
‘Now I’m sure Kenny is as disappointed as you are with how it has gone so far, but you know what, that’s life.’
‘I have been involved in a couple of big teams and gone through down periods, up periods, slow periods, hot periods. By the way, our baseball team won the World Series, our hockey team won the Stanley Cup, we had the same kind of moments of unhappiness.’
‘Football is an area of great emotion, which is why it is so successful and why I love it. As a fan, believe me, when we blow a game in the last seconds, I think angry things in my head.’
‘But I do want to say that I think stability, consistency, all the things we talked about when we acquired the club three years ago, are still true.’
Board members Eric Eisner and Andy Redman will be at Fratton Park on Saturday for the visit of the high-flying U’s but the chairman dismissed any notion their attendance was a sign that Jackett’s position was under threat. ‘Eric Eisner and Andy Redman are coming over for the next two games, sitting down with Mark and Kenny to talk about the squad, the team.’
‘We are working diligently on Fratton Park, but that is only a part of it, the part which seems to be – and is – the most important is what happens on the pitch.’
‘It is now just the end of October, this league goes on until May, so I am not ready to throw in the towel, and I don’t think anybody else is.’
‘We don’t want to be knee-jerk management, we don’t want to make unthoughtful decisions, we want to be respectful of our fans, we want to hear our fans, but we want to do as best we can at the right time.’
Many Pompey fans are desperate to see the back of Jackett, but their chairman’s words seem to suggest he has the full backing of the board.
However, is this the dreaded vote of confidence that usually ends in tears?
Plenty of Portsmouth fans will be hoping, but as the current situation at Sunderland illustrates, a change in manager doesn’t always result in improved performances.
It will undoubtedly be interesting to see how events unfold on Saturday if, as we predict, Oxford take all three points.