Doncaster Rovers: The lowdown on Saturday’s hosts Portsmouth from a man in the know

Kenny Jackett
Kenny Jackett

They sneaked in at the last moment to beat Rovers to the League Two title last season and are going well in League One this.

So can Portsmouth really push for back to back promotions?

We spoke to Portsmouth News’ Pompey writer Neil Allen to get the lowdown.

Q: It seems to have been so far so good for Portsmouth on their return to League One. What were the expectations for this campaign and how are results stacking up to that?

Neil Allen: With a new manager and new owners, this year was all about stability and reestablishing themselves in League One.

So it’s been so far, so good and really, they are exceeding expectations.

That was certainly the case up until the end of 2017 but things have taken a downturn recently and they’re yet to win this year.

It’ll be interesting to see whether they are settling into mid-table or if they can push back towards the top six.

Q: What have been the reasons for the recent run of form?

NA: They lost their main midfield two to injury at the end of the year and it’s has a real affect.

Danny Rose struggled to get in the team early in the season but once he got his place, he was really impressive and became a key man.

He got injured in the last game of 2017 and it was not long after they lost Stuart O’Keefe as well, who is on loan from Cardiff.

That has left them with a 20-year-old and a 19-year-old as the midfield two.

Q: How has Kenny Jackett been viewed since he arrived at the club?

NA: Really well. The good form overall this season has obviously helped with that but he’s been a great bloke to deal with.

Q: What style of play and system does Jackett prefer?

NA: He’s kept things quite similar to how they were under Paul Cooke, with a few tweaks.

He goes for a 4-2-3-1 like Cooke with sitting midfielders, though he calls it a 4-4-1-1.

The full backs aren’t quite as attacking as they were under Cooke.

Overall, they’re very solid and don’t concede many goals – particularly at home.

Q: Who is the danger man for Pompey?

NA: Brett Pitman is always one to watch. He’s scored 14 goals this season, although he’s only got one in his last ten games.

But he’s a dangerous player that can cause plenty of problems when he’s at his best.