Away fan View: Jackett has good blend of youth and experience as Pompey target promotion

Portsmouth fans William Bates and Trev Wilson are hoping league leaders Pompey can end their Glanford Park hoodoo tomorrow.

Pompey are currently flying high in League One and have only lost one game this season. Were you expecting such a great start following a respectable campaign last year establishing yourself in the division?

WB: I think most Pompey fans would have been expecting to be around the playoff places following our summer signings. We’ve improved in positions where we had serious issues last season, such as at left back where we had two out injured for almost the whole of last season.

I wouldn’t have personally predicted us to be top of the league. Barnsley and Sunderland have much bigger budgets and big name players in their teams, I think it’s just been that we have been better organised.

TW: I was certainly expecting us to improve but not to the extent that we have! The new players have all done well and others like Gareth Evans are playing better than ever.

Kenny Jackett seems to be doing a really good job. He must be highly thought of by the fans?

WB: Kenny and his assistant Joe Gallen are really respected by our fans, he’s proven he knows how to get out of League One and into the Championship with Millwall and Wolves and we hope he can do it again here.

A small minority of our fans have said that they feel his style of play is a bit too defensive and direct, but I think the results have pretty much ended that issue. Most importantly, Kenny understands the club and genuinely enjoys being Pompey manager, which gives the team and the fans a big morale lift.

TW: Kenny is extremely well respected by the fans, he seems to make good signings without spending silly money. I personally like his reserved demeanour and his previous success at this level inspires confidence.

You’ve got some really exiting young players but also a good balance with some experienced heads like Gareth Evans and Brett Pitmann. Do you feel you have got the right blend to sustain a push for promotion?

WB: We have some really exciting prospects at Pompey, if we are going to get promoted it is absolutely essential that we keep top players like Matt Clarke in January. Kenny Jackett has made it clear that he isn’t for sale, but most Pompey fans agree Clarke will be playing Championship football next season. We just hope that would be for us.

I think Evans in particular really adds a lot in terms of his leadership as a more experienced player. You can have lots of exciting young players but sometimes you also need older players, especially when the team has to comeback from behind.

TW: Yes, we have quite a large squad and a good mix of experience and youth. Luckily there have been no major injury problems (yet)! Last season was the worst that I can remember for injuries and I have been a fan since 1967!

Jamal Lowe and Ronan Curtis have weighed in with a few goals, along with the aforementioned Evans, but who else should we look out for tomorrow?

WB: Striker Oli Hawkins, who has started ahead of Brett Pitman for most of our games this season is a real threat in the air, especially from set pieces. Ben Thompson has established himself as a real fan favourite in midfield, he’s a player who has won promotion from this division before with Millwall, and is excellent both going forward and at winning the ball.

TW: Oli Hawkins has been keeping Brett Pitman out of the side and is converting more of his chances than he was before (terrible miss at Glanford Park last year). He is almost unbeatable in the air.

Pompey have never won at Glanford Park. Do you think the hoodoo will be put to bed tomorrow?

WB: Pompey’s record at Scunthope is not good, but hopefully we can get a result. Portsmouth haven’t lost an away game this season and have set the club all time record best away start to a season, so a win at Glanford Park would mean Pompey break two records.

TW: I don’t think we will get a better chance! Scunny have been very inconsistent this year but speaking as a long term Pompey fan I will be happy with a draw.

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Written by Will Montag

Will Montag is an English Literature graduate of Manchester Metropolitan University. He is an avid reader of fiction, and a lifelong Iron fan. Will enjoys various outdoor pursuits in his spare time.

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