Williams eager to step into Pompey breach

113529_PFC_ROSTOV_05/10/11''Ryan Williams. ''Portsmouth FC V FC Rostov at Fratton Park in a charity friendly in memory of those who lost their lives in the Yaroslavl air crash.  ''Picture: Allan Hutchings (113529-450)
113529_PFC_ROSTOV_05/10/11''Ryan Williams. ''Portsmouth FC V FC Rostov at Fratton Park in a charity friendly in memory of those who lost their lives in the Yaroslavl air crash. ''Picture: Allan Hutchings (113529-450)

Ryan Williams has declared himself ready to answer the first-team call as Pompey player sales loom large.

Blues boss Michael Appleton is required to sell off some of his stars as the club seeks to meet a £1.6m tax bill.

Joel Ward, Jason Pearce and Stephen Henderson have all been linked with moves away from Fratton Park over the past week.

That interest is expected to intensify during the final five days of the January transfer window.

It is understood, Ipswich have made a third bid of £1.70m for Ward and Pearce, plus an unnamed third player.

For Appleton, the likes of Williams, Adam Webster and Sam Magri are candidates to be thrust into the first team to plug the holes such departures would create.

Eighteen-year-old Williams, who has recently attracted reported interest from Fulham, has recently re-emerged as part of the Pompey match-day squad after a two-and-half-month absence.

And the teenager is eager to make the step up into Appleton’s side during the second half of the campaign.

He said: ‘I really want to push forward and see if I can get a starting spot in the first team.

‘You have always got to aim high, even if it doesn’t happen.

‘I was part of the first-team squad for a bit earlier this season and then dropped off for a bit. Then the manager left.

‘It was kind of a wake-up call and I dealt with it.

‘Now I’m back there and really happy to be in the first-team squad again. I would just love to play more games.

‘I played a fair few matches in pre-season and made a few appearances here and there – but from there I didn’t really get a starting position.

‘Maybe it was because of my age or because, as some people say, I am not big enough.

‘I think now I’ve developed more football-wise to avoid making physical contact with different players, I’ve got a lot smarter from the experience of training with everyone and learning.

‘I’ve picked my game up a little bit lately in training. I think that’s one of the main reasons I’m back in the squad.

‘I’m just trying to make the gaffer know that I am here and want to play.’

Williams has made six appearances since breaking into the Pompey squad this season. But none have been starts.

He is contracted to the Blues until the sum-mer of 2013, and remains a tremendous prospect for the future.

And he continues to enjoy life at Fratton Park.

He added: ‘I am contracted this season and next season.

‘I will stay at Portsmouth for as long as I can, hopefully, because I love it here.

‘I was 18 at the end of October so this is going to be a pretty big year for me being quite young.

‘With the squad being too small, hopefully I can get my chance.’