Kenny Jackett verdict on Sunderland challenge and latest Portsmouth injury news

Kenny Jackett is looking forward to locking horns with Jack Ross again as the two sides prepare to do battle for the sixth time in twelve months.

Thursday, 15th August 2019, 6:38 pm

Sunderland played Portsmouth twice in the league last year, lost on penalties in the final of the Checkatrade Trophy before dumping them out the play-offs over two legs.

Two of the biggest clubs in the third tier go head-to-head on Saturday lunchtime at the Stadium of Light (KO 12.30pm).

Jackett told the Portsmouth News: “You’ve got to play them sometime and whether you're ready or they are, it's got to be faced and that's it.

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Portsmouth manager Kenny Jackett looks ahead to the Sunderland fixture.
Portsmouth manager Kenny Jackett looks ahead to the Sunderland fixture.

“It's one of the games you look forward to, certainly it is a big challenge and a hard game but it's a great stadium and a big club and TV game as well, so a great stage for us, we're looking for it.

“I'm sure they will be there or thereabouts and have ambitions to do well.

“I am looking forward to the game. Both sides have changed slightly since last year, fresh season as well.

“Any time you go up and play Sunderland it's something to look forward to but similarly a big challenge to try to get a result.”

On the injury front, Jackett said: “In terms of people unavailable it's Ryan Williams, Bryn Morris, Oli Hawkins and everybody else is fit.”

Ross added: “They were good games last year and they had an edge to them. An enjoyable edge to them and I think they had an atmosphere that were all enjoyable.”