PATIENCE isn’t one of Adam McGurk’s virtues.
But the Pompey forward is hoping sitting tight pays off for him tomorrow as his side go to Mansfield.
McGurk has been forced to miss out in the past three games, after recovering from a back injury picked up against Barnet.
The 27-year-old could be in line for a return at Field Mill with Gary Roberts suspended after his red card last weekend.
And, after getting a reserve outing against Crawley under his belt on Monday, the fire is in the Northern Irishman’s belly to show what he can do.
McGurk said: ‘I haven’t played for a few weeks so it was good to get a couple of minutes on Monday.
‘I just have to be patient.
‘I want to play every game. It’s frustrating that my back twinged in the last couple of minutes against Barnet.
‘That meant I wasn’t fit for the Saturday game.
‘I’ve been available for the past three games, though, so I’ve just had to wait.
‘I don’t like watching. I don’t think any footballer likes watching. You want to play football.
‘It’s frustrating when you have to watch.
‘But you have a squad in these situations and Robbo (Gary Roberts) isn’t going to be available for Mansfield.
‘We have to pick ourselves up from a disappointing result last Saturday, and I want to help with that.’
The focus this week has been on putting right Saturday’s performance against Newport County.
That came after a win at promotion-chasing Accrington Stanley – a couple of extreme results typical of the campaign.
‘It’s baffling how you can go from one extreme to the other in football,’ said McGurk.
‘It’s summed our season up.
‘We get a bit of momentum and it grinds to a halt. It’s frustrating.
‘It’s frustrating for the fans but also the players and the staff.
‘We have to work hard this week and concentrate on getting it right at Mansfield.’
Pompey go to the Stags with 10 games to go and six points still the gap to the top three. That leaves little room for anything other than positive results over the finale to the campaign.
McGurk knows that’s the case but feels there are factors in his side’s favour.
He added: ‘Ten games to go is a long way to go. We have to worry about ourselves. We know we have to try to go out and win every game now.
‘That was probably the case even before Saturday, but that was a kick in the teeth.
‘It’s only one game less now, so it’s a similar situation to what we were in.
‘The fewer games there are the harder it gets. Everyone knows we have to go on a good run now. That starts at Mansfield.
‘They are all tests now.
‘There are teams with something to play for, whether it’s trying to survive or going for promotion.
‘Teams may want to attack a bit more and it does suit us when teams want to go toe-to-toe with us.
‘It suits us better. In the last 10 games it’s going to be like that.’