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Portsmouth   v   Luton Town
SkyBet League One
Saturday, 4th August 2018 Kick-off 15:00
Pompey plan no excuses at Oxford
Friday, 11th Aug 2017 21:46 by staff

Injury-hit Pompey go to Oxford for their first away game in League One but you won't find the packed treatment room, nor tiredness after a busy first week of the season, being used as an excuse from Kenny Jackett.

He has Tareiq Holmes-Dennis, Matt Clarke, Nathan Thompson and Milan Lalkovic out crocked but Jackett says he has plenty of players to work with and injuries are a part of the game you have to get on with.

The Blues head to the Kassam, where they last played two years ago in drawing 1-1 in Paul Cook's early days at the helm, having won their opening game at home to Rochdale last weekend.

Oxford also began with a 2-0 win, theirs coming at Oldham.

Jackett talked about his injured troops when he spoke to the club website ahead of the short trip up the A34, saying: 'That’s why you always talk about the whole group because you never know what’s going to happen. Injuries are part of football and you have to overcome that as a squad – I’ve been pleased with how the players have responded.

'We’re disappointed for Tareiq and it looks like it will be three to four months minimum, so I will be looking for another specialist left-back. But Brandon Haunstrup did well at Cardiff. He started off a bit shaky, but grew into the game and I was pleased with his contribution.

'We’ve been good defensively in the past two games and when we get players back we’ll be even stronger. Nathan has trained with the group and now it’s just about when we decide to put him in, particularly when he hasn’t played pre-season matches.'

Jackett said tiredness should not be an issue even after extra-time in the midweek cup defeat at Cardiff. 'We battled very well for two hours at Cardiff and I certainly don’t see that being a problem. We’re here to play football,' he told the website.

'Oxford have a good side and can count themselves unlucky not to get into the play-offs last season. That’s something that they were aspiring towards as a club and I’m sure they will be again this year. We want to be competitive and frugal at the back, while also being more expansive on the ball with more confidence.'

Jackett must decide whether to give young specialist left-back Brandon Haunstrup another go at left-back, as he did at Cardiff, or switch Drew Talbot from right-back as he did when Holmes-Dennis was hurt against the Dale.


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