Kevin Phillips has exclusively told Football FanCast that Portsmouth would be “crazy” to get rid of Kenny Jackett, but isn’t surprised by the pressure from the Fratton Park faithful.
Pompey topped the League One standings at Christmas following victory at Hull, but their league form has taken a dramatic turn for the worse in recent weeks, which has led to a number of supporters calling for Jackett to be sacked.
Having suffered another damaging defeat to Phillip’s former side Sunderland on Wednesday, the South Coast outfit have slipped 10 points behind the automatic promotion places, and are just about clinging onto their top-six place with the likes of Ipswich and Charlton breathing down their neck.
But Portsmouth will be given a welcome break from League One action on Saturday when they take on Salford City in their rearranged 2020 Papa John’s Trophy final.
Phillips told Football FanCast:
“I’ve been around football a long time. Am I surprised? No, not really. Football supporters are what they are. And a club the size of Portsmouth, a bit like Sunderland, having been in that league now for a while, they feel that they shouldn’t be there.
“Getting into the position they have done a few weeks ago to have tailed off in the last three four weeks, they will be disappointed.
“So I’m not surprised. But I am little bit because he’s an experienced guy, they’re in the playoffs, they still have a great opportunity to get a good result this weekend to really kick on and find some form again.”
But does the ex-Sunderland frontman believe that Jackett should be given time despite Pompey’s recent struggles.
“Definitely. Kenny’s an experienced guy. Who are they going to bring in that’s got as much experience as Kenny? He’ll turn it around, I’m sure he’ll keep them in the play-offs. I think it’d be crazy to get rid of him. Just go with it, and hopefully they’ll turn it around.”
Kevin Phillips will be a studio guest for Quest’s highlights of the Papa John’s Trophy Final on Sunday. Stream on discovery+