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Opposition Profile: Portsmouth

14 June 2017

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A new feature where we take a closer look at who Rovers will face in League One next season.


Founded: 1898
Nickname: Pompey

Founded in 1898, Portsmouth have been champions of England on two occasions – winning the First Division title in successive seasons in 1948-49 and 1949-50 – and have lifted the FA Cup twice, in 1939 and 2008.

Having qualified for Europe for the 2008-09 season, Portsmouth progressed through to the group stage of the UEFA Cup, where they met European heavyweights AC Milan, Wolfsburg, Braga and Heerenveen.

Financial problems soon set in and Pompey were relegated to the Championship in 2010, to League One in 2012 and then into League Two a year later. The 2013-14 season was the first time since the late 1970s that they had started a campaign in the fourth tier of English football.

After winning the League Two title last term, Portsmouth became only the fifth club to win all four divisions, along with Wolves, Burnley, Preston and Sheffield United.

The Manager: Kenny Jackett

The son of former professional footballer Frank Jackett, who played for Watford between 1949-1953, Kenny followed in his father’s footsteps, joining his local club at the age of 12 and making his Watford debut at the age of 18.

He went on to make over 400 appearances for the Hornets, winning promotion to the First Division in 1981-82 and playing in the club’s only appearance in an FA Cup final, when they lost 2-0 to Everton in 1984.

After undergoing a series of knee operations, the Welsh international was forced to retire early at the age of 28, but he remained at Vicarage Road in a coaching capacity.

In February 1996, Jackett and Luther Blissett were asked by the returning Graham Taylor to run the first team, with Jackett appointed manager at the end of the campaign, following their relegation into Division Two.

Demoted back to first team coach in the summer of 1997, Jackett helped Watford secure back-to-back promotions, culminating in their season in the Premier League in 1999-2000, which ended in relegation.

Jackett left Vicarage Road in the summer of 2001, becoming assistant manager to Ian Holloway at QPR, who he helped gain promotion from Division Two in 2003-04.

Before the title was secured, Jackett left QPR to take on the role of manager at Third Division side Swansea in April 2004, gaining promotion to League One in his first full season in charge. He then guided the Swans to the League One play-off final in 2006, but they lost on penalties to Barnsley. They did however win the LDV Vans Trophy that season, beating Carlisle United 2-1 in the final.

Jackett resigned in February 2007 and was soon appointed reserve team manager at Manchester City, before being appointed Millwall manager in November 2007. He led the Lions to the League One play-off final in his first full season at The Den, but they lost 3-2 to Scunthorpe.

They reached the play-off for a second season running in 2009-10, this time securing promotion to the Championship courtesy of a 1-0 victory over Swindon.

Jackett led Millwall to Wembley for a third time in April 2013, this time for an FA Cup semi-final, which they lost to eventual winners Wigan 2-0.

He left Millwall at the end of the season and was appointed manager of Wolves in May 2013. He guided the club to promotion back to the Championship at the first attempt as League One champions, setting a new divisional record of reaching 103 points.

Following a club takeover by a Chinese conglomerate in July 2016, Jackett was relieved of his duties and was appointed manager of bottom-placed Championship club Rotherham United in October, but resigned 39 days later.

The 55-year-old  was named the new manager of Portsmouth earlier this month following Paul Cook’s decision to take over at Wigan.   

The Ground: Fratton Park

Fratton Park has been the home of Portsmouth FC since the club’s formation in 1898.

The all-seater stadium has a capacity of 21,100, although the record attendance is 51,385 for an FA Cup quarter-final against Derby County in February 1949.

Last Season: 1st, League Two

Portsmouth secured the League Two title on a dramatic final day of the season courtesy of a stunning 6-1 victory at home to Cheltenham Town.

The result meant that they finished in top spot ahead of Plymouth Argyle on goal difference, after the Pilgrims were held to a 1-1 draw away to Grimsby Town and two points ahead of Doncaster Rovers, who suffered a surprise defeat at relegated Hartlepool.

It was Pompey’s first silverware success since Harry Redknapp guided the south-coast club to FA Cup glory in 2008.

In the cup competitions, Portsmouth made early exits from both, losing 3-2 to Coventry City in the first round of the EFL Cup and 2-1 to Wycombe Wanderers in the first round of the FA Cup.

Last Meeting: April 3rd 2010

Rovers were held to a goalless draw with Portsmouth at Fratton Park in the last meeting between the two teams in April 2010.

The game was made famous by the fact that Sky Sports News reporter Chris Kamara missed Anthony Vanden Borre’s red card on the hour mark whilst doing a live report into the studio.

Sam Allardyce’s side had won the reverse fixture at Ewood Park 3-1 earlier in the campaign, thanks to a Jason Roberts double and a goal from Rovers captain Ryan Nelsen.

Rovers finished 10th that season, whilst Portsmouth were relegated to the Championship in last place.

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