Jackett keen for Pompey to progress in EFL Trophy despite plans to field weakened team against Cobblers

Kenny Jackett took charge of Portsmouth in 2017
Kenny Jackett took charge of Portsmouth in 2017

Portsmouth manager Kenny Jackett is eager for his side to beat the Cobblers this evening and win through to the next round of the EFL Trophy despite plans to field a much-changed team at Fratton Park.

Jackett’s squad is in good health ahead of the busy festive schedule with captain Tom Naylor and loanee Ross McCrorie both back in contention after recovering from hamstring problems.

Jack Whatmough and Bryn Morris are the only first-team players not available to Jackett going into Tuesday's cup tie as Pompey look to extend their unbeaten run to nine games in all competitions.

“Tom and Ross were both in full training on Monday, while Sean Raggett was back towards the end of last week," said the former Wolves and Millwall manager.

"It would be nice to keep that squad right the way through the busy Christmas period if we possibly can.

“All three of them are fit and available for selection, with Jack and Bryn the only guys currently unavailable."

Jackett, whose side needed a stoppage-time winner to beat Altrincham in the FA Cup on Saturday, will also follow Keith Curle's lead and make multiple changes this evening.

He added: “There are players who naturally need some game time and you can see that in our group.

“So we’ll be giving them a chance out on the pitch, while the other guys will step back onto the bench.

“There won’t be too many youngsters though, and we’ll be seeing if we can get another home victory to progress.

“You take each match as it comes and obviously our league form is the priority, but when these games come around, you try to win.

“Northampton are in a great position in their league and on a good run, so they’ll be aiming to get back into League One.

“It’s always hard to read what sort of team our opponents will put out, but we have to respect the season they’re having.”