Sunderland's League One promotion rivals Portsmouth rocked by manager's health scare

Sunderland's League One rivals Portsmouth have laid down plans to be without their manager for a period of time.

Wednesday, 17th February 2021, 11:08 am
Kenny Jackett before the Sky Bet League One play-off semi-final match between Portsmouth FC and Oxford United at Fratton Park on July 3, 2020.

Former Swansea and Wolves boss Kenny Jackett, 59, is due to have a mole removed from his forearm.

Assistant manager Joe Gallen will take charge in a caretaker capacity alongside first-team coach Jake Wigley.

However, there is no suggestion of the man who arrived as Paul Cook’s successor in 2017 being replaced.

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Pompey, though, capitulated at Bristol Rovers on Tuesday night, losing 3-1 in the League One clash.

Rovers hadn’t won in 10 games, but brushed their opponents aside with superior physicality and determination at the Memorial Stadium.

The build-up to the game has been dominated by concerns over Jackett’s health, after it was announced he’s to step back from front-line managerial duties.

Jackett was not at the game on Tuesday with surgery scheduled for Thursday 18, and it was a poor showing from his team in his absence.

The loss of Jackett couldn’t have come at a worse time, with Portsmouth due to face Blackpool this Saturday.

Pompey then face promotion rivals Doncaster Rovers and Sunderland in the first nine days of next month.

Portsmouth will then have to deal with Peterborough United, who are also battling to gain entry to the Championship, on March 16.

Jackett's side are fourth in League one with 48 points, one behind Hull City with a game in hand, and four behind Posh.

Sunderland remain four points behind Pompey, whilst Doncaster have the same amount of points as Portsmouth but with two games in hand.