|Portsmouth 0 v 2 Arsenal|
Monday, 2nd March 2020 Kick-off 19:45
Pompey's approach to FA Cup was 'common sense' with promotion bid in mind
Wednesday, 4th Mar 2020 22:12 by pompey-fans.com staff
Kenny Jackett says Pompey can be happy with their efforts in the FA Cup this season - but now need to focus on the job of trying to win promotion to the Championship.
The 2-0 loss to Arsenal in Monday's fifth round leaves the Blues with just two competitions to think about and it's that League One campaign that occupies Jackett's thoughts now.
He made changes to his team against the Gunners, surprising many by leaving the likes of Tom Naylor and Ronan Curtis on the bench, but insists that was the right thing to do.
Jackett told the Pompey website: 'With eight games in January and February, as well as seven in March, the side is going to change. We have quite a few players fit and available now and we have to use them – it’s no use if what’s perceived as your best side has no energy.
'Players want to be out there, but they can see the big picture. We ran out of steam towards the end of last season and we want to make sure that doesn’t happen again. There’s been a high volume of matches for us and a really tough schedule, so you have to use common sense.'
He said of the test posed by Arsenal: 'There were moments around their box in the first half, with Marcus probably having our best opportunities. But when the crosses, corners and free-kick went into the box, David Luiz was usually the first head to it.
'We were putting set-pieces in with plenty of pace and just couldn’t make them count – we needed those moments to go for us. It was disappointing to go in behind because we could have really attacked them in the second half if was still 0-0.
'We never gave up, though, and put absolutely everything into our performance right until the very end. We’re pleased with what we’ve done in the competition this season and now we wish Arsenal all the best.'
Now attentions turn to Saturday's trip to Peterborough, where the Blues will be anxious to improve on what is quite a poor record in away games against top ten sides.