Winger out to reclaim his starting berth

Pompey winger Andy Barcham. Picture: Joe Pepler
Pompey winger Andy Barcham. Picture: Joe Pepler

Andy Barcham is out to make up for lost time after a flying start to his Pompey career was stalled by a niggling injury.

The Blues winger turned in a fine display in the FA Cup defeat at Stevenage on his return to the side since the 4-2 defeat at York in September.

When Barcham was struggling with a knee problem, he became a victim of Pompey’s six-match unbeaten run and had to make do with a place on the bench upon his recovery.

But having got himself back in the side, the former Gillingham man is determined to stay there and add goals to his game ahead of tonight’s Johnstone’s Paint Trophy clash at Newport County.

Barcham said: ‘I’ve had a little knee injury, which was very frustrating, having started the season in the team.

‘It got to the stage where I needed to get it sorted, but it feels fine now and it’s good to be back.

‘At the time, as soon as I felt it, I didn’t want to come out of the team because I was playing well and enjoying my football.

‘But it got to the stage where I was finding it hard to train, and when you go down the road of only playing the games, it’s not great.

‘So I just wanted to get it right.’

With Ricky Holmes and Jed Wallace impressing on the flanks in recent weeks, it has left the former Scunthorpe man having to bide his time for another chance.

But Barcham knows it is down to him to win his place back.

He said: ‘It’s been difficult because I picked up the injury and had to come out of the side.

‘Because we’ve got fantastic players, I knew I would have to be patient to get back in the team.

‘All I can do is try to make an impact when I get my chance, even when it’s been as a sub.

‘So it’s down to me to show what I can do again.’

It’s also an unfair reflection on the 26-year-old’s impact during the first few months of his Fratton Park career that he has just one goal to his name so far – a cracking strike at Mansfield.

He said: ‘I came close a couple of times at Stevenage.

‘There was one in the first half that I thought was in when I hit it.

‘They were doubling up on me when I was going down the line. But if they do that, it means you can cut inside and it starts to open up.

‘I tried to have a go and it was just over.

‘But being out of the team ruins your flow a bit.

‘I probably should have scored more goals than the one I’ve got.

‘But I’ve just got to keep working as hard as I can to get back into the side, and then when I do, I’m sure more goals will come along.

‘You need that sharpness.’