Confidence allowing striker’s artistry to shine

Patrick Agyemang on the ball at Fratton Park on Saturday. Picture: Sarah Standing
Patrick Agyemang on the ball at Fratton Park on Saturday. Picture: Sarah Standing

The ball dropped out of the spring Fratton air and stuck to his foot. Dead.

In one single movement, Patrick Agyemang lifted his in-step with the ball still glued to it and deftly flicked it on to one of his team-mates.

A partying home crowd roared their appreciation as the new favourite soaked up the approval which is fuelling his flying form.

It was a moment which was one of a number of outstanding pieces of artistry from the Stevenage loanee in his Sheffield United man-of-the-match performance.

The full repertoire of drag-backs, flicks and step-overs were produced as Agyemang’s hulking 6ft 2in frame led the Blades defence a merry dance.

He has already spoken of the confidence Pompey’s support has given his game.

Now it’s allowing the Fratton faithful to see exactly what the 32-year-old is all about.

Agyemang said: ‘I feel good, really good, and the only thing that was lacking on Saturday was a goal.

‘When the ball came into the box it didn’t quite fall for me but I’ll try to make goals and score a few as well.

‘The flicks and tricks are my game, really. When I’m confident that is the sort of thing I want to do.

‘That’s what I can do when I’m feeling good. Long may it continue.

‘When I feel good it comes easier to me.

‘It helps the team are playing balls into me and not just hooked into the air and I’m not fighting all the time.

‘You have to do it sometimes but at the moment it’s working well.’

After 14 appearances on loan at Pompey, Agyemang is becoming a favourite with the Blues fans.

That was seen in the standing ovation he received along with chants of ‘sign him up’ when he was withdrawn late on against the Blades.

Agyemang’s ‘big man, little man’ partnership with David Connolly is thriving, with boss Guy Whittingham keen to see it remain intact next season.

The former QPR and Wimbledon player feels the pair are striking up a decent understanding.

Agyemang said: ‘It’s good with me and Dave and we are getting better. We have shown some good link-up play.

‘We link up well and he tries to get me in and vice-versa. We’re doing okay.’

Agyemang has no doubt Saturday’s performance was the high water mark of his time at Pompey.

He feels the team finishing the season would not be facing League Two if they had begun it together.

But the man, who now looks set to sign permanently, feels his team can finish the season in style at Shrewsbury knowing there is much to look forward to.

He said: ‘You couldn’t have asked for a better performance on Saturday.

‘The boys and the crowd were unbelievable.

‘It was as good as it’s been since I’ve been here and it was a game when everything went to plan.

‘Everything is coming off and we are working well as a team. If we started with this team at the start of the season no way would we be where we are now.

‘We have nothing to lose. There’s one more game to go and we’ll play with the pressure off.

‘We can start the next season afresh with the 10 points coming off this season.

‘So we can go to Shrewsbury and enjoy our football.’