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Pompey v MK Dons: League One men yet to be separated from the boys
Friday, 13th Oct 2017 22:04 by pompey-fans.com staff
Pompey's win at Gillingham last Sunday left them closer in points to fourth place than to the bottom three, and closer in position to the play-off zone than the relegation zone.
But with only 11 points separating sixth from 21st at this stage of the season, most would agree that doesn't mean a great deal. In fact, we're still at the stage where one defeat can leave you looking over your shoulder as much as one win can have you dreaming of end-of-season knockout lotteries.
In the middle of that mid-table area Pompey have for company MK Dons which makes this weekend's Fratton clash between the two marginally more important than it might otherwise be.
Unusually for a manager (how often have you heard them say their only focus is on the next game) Kenny Jackett admits he is eyeing up the MK match as one of a group of three, coming as it does at the start of an eight-day period which also involves visits to Doncaster and Blackburn.
He told the club website: 'You build up for a series of games – and we’ve got three coming up now in the space of just eight days. This week has given us a chance to do some training and hopefully clear a few injuries, so that’s been useful.
'There’s also a lot of rest and refocusing for this set of fixtures against MK Dons, Doncaster and Blackburn. These are big games for us and a decent opportunity to collect points and move further up the league table.'
Jackett says that as a team who have had a recent spell in the Championship, MK will bring plenty of nous to Fratton. He told the website: 'They have plenty of talent in their ranks and a lot of ball-playing midfielders. We have to be wary of that, but we’ve got goals at home and want that to continue. We had a very good win on the road at Gillingham last week and now we want to build on that at Fratton Park.'
Christian Burgess is set to come back into the centre of the defence at the expense of able deputy Oliver Hawkins, while winger Milan Lalkovic could be on the bench after returning to training.
This one is too soon for knee and hamstring victims Brett Pitman and Conor Chaplin but Jackett has suggested Chaplin could be in the squad either at Doncaster or Blackburn.
MK won on their last away trip - at Bury - but were well beaten at home to Bradford last weekend.
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