Portsmouth boss Kenny Jackett reveals how many points his side will need to beat Sunderland and Barnsley to promotion
Kenny Jackett has set his Portsmouth side a promotion challenge as they aim to pip Sunderland and Barnsley to automatic promotion.
While Jackett’s attentions will temporarily turn to the Checkatrade Trophy final this weekend, his long-term focus is securing Pompey’s return to the Championship for the first time since 2012.
And while his side are outsiders at the moment - sitting third and four points off the top two - the Portsmouth boss has set his side an ambitious target.
Jackett has challenged his side to hit the 90 point barrier before the end of the campaign, believing that such a tally will see the south coast outfit beat the Black Cats and Barnsley to promotion.
“We are on 74 points, but you need to get to 90, that’s generally the case,” he said, speaking to The News.
“There are 21 points still to play for, but usually a total of 90-plus gets you into the top two – and it looks like that’s going to be the case this year.
“Promotion with points in the 80s will happen now and again – one year or two – but generally it doesn’t.”
And while Jackett is insistent that such a points tally will prove enough, he knows that it will be no easy ask to secure one of the two automatic promotion spots - not least because of the strength of promotion rivals Sunderland, Luton and Barnsley.
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But should Jackett’s side fail in reaching the target he has set, the 57-year-old is determined to see them take an advantage in the play-offs.
“Luton, Barnsley and Sunderland have had long, long unbeaten runs and that has put standards and points totals for the top two very high,” he added.
“We have just jumped into third because Sunderland didn’t play this weekend due to the international break and we have to keep the pressure on them.
“That’s the thing, you never know what’s going to happen, we have to keep the pressure on the top two and always believe we can do it, which is important.
“After that, we must do everything we can to get the third or fourth spot, so in the play-offs we will get home advantage in the second leg.
“Beyond that you are looking at the gap between ourselves and seventh spot to qualify for the play-offs, which obviously we haven’t done yet.”