Portsmouth boss Kenny Jackett admitted trying to pull the wool over Luton’s eyes with the inclusion of match-winner Jamal Lowe on Saturday.
The 24-year-old striker had been ruled out of the game in the week by Jackett, who declared he would be missing for up to three weeks with an ankle injury suffered against FC Utrecht.
I am sure you all know the situation was there, whether it gave us an advantage or not I don’t know.Kenny Jackett
However, Lowe was named on the teamsheet and went on to score the only goal on 16 minutes after good work from Ronan Curtis,
Speaking to the Portsmouth Evening News, Jackett said: “Jamal trained midweek and did enough to start.
“I could see it building up and just really decide to run with it. People were telling me he was out and I didn’t deny it. You can’t believe everything you read in the papers, all the time.
“I am sure you all know the situation was there, whether it gave us an advantage or not I don’t know.
“Maybe, sometimes if it’s there you have to use it.
“He had an ankle injury, obviously, and people saw him come off last week.
“Everybody was thinking it was probably worse than it was, but he recovered pretty well and, by midweek, was 100 per cent.
“I always thought he was going to play. Obviously you are waiting for training sessions, but by midweek it looked very optimistic.”
Once Lowe had broken the deadlock, Town then took over, denied by post and bar, while missing other chances too as they were downright unlucky to leave without a point at the very least.
Jackett knows his Pompey side owed a huge debt of gratitude to their defence, saying: “We showed fantastic commitment and desire to make sure we earned something.
“They are qualities you need throughout the season and they were there.
“We showed terrific heart and spirit, with some very good defending, although we didn’t have enough going forward.
“Our ball retention didn’t help us until Ben Close came on and we managed to find a few passes to take the sting out of the game.
“I thought we defended very well – we needed to.
“(Matty) Pearson and (Alan) Sheehan won too many headers in both halves and the service needs to be better for our forwards.
“We’re going to need the qualities we did show throughout the game, but does the build-up and possession need to be better? Yes.
“There are things we need to add to a committed display because for the home side, we had very few chances.
“I was pleased with the goal – it was a good run from Ronan down the right hand side and he pulled it back well for Jamal, who made the finish look easy.
“It was a key moment that ultimately won us the game, but we just didn’t create enough from that point.”