It’s all change at Fratton Park heading into the coming season. Having won League Two on the final day last term, they’re back in the third tier after a four-year absence. And now, they’ve got a new manager at the helm…Kenny Jackett.
The experienced boss arrives in the wake of Paul Cook’s switch to Wigan Athletic – with his exit from the Pompey project surprising many.
So, is Jackett the man to continue the South Coast club’s rise through the leagues?
His long-term history at this level suggests so. The 55-year-old has shown he can deliver success under the pressure of a big-club environment. He triumphed in the League One play-offs with Millwall in 2010, and led Wolverhampton Wanderers to a record 103-point haul as they won this division in 2014.
However, the Watford-born boss’ last role could understandably have caused concerns. He left Rotherham United after just 39 days, having taken one point from five games. If the Pompey project didn’t get off to a flier next term, would he be tempted to quickly bail again?
Brief Millers stint aside, he does seem a promising choice – especially when you consider the transfer business he did for Wolves at this level.
His key men in the title-winning side were signings made before and during his first season – as they romped to the League One title in Jackett’s first year. Those buys included defensive rock Sam Ricketts, high-scoring forward Nouha Dicko and reliable left-back Scott Golbourne.
So there’s little doubt he’ll spend the money available at Fratton Park wisely – and has the contacts to bring in a high calibre of player.
And while it may not always deliver excitement, his sides tend to be difficult to beat – a hugely important factor as this Pompey side try to regain their feet at this level.
In fact, his title-winning Wolves side conceded just 31 goals – the best defensive record any side has managed in League One in the past 11 seasons.
Our traders seem to be convinced by the appointment, with Portsmouth 9/1 third-favourites to lift the title in 2017-18.
If they can avoid the early wobble Jackett endured at New York Stadium last year, then you’d have to fancy them to be in the mix for promotion…at the very least.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing