Luton 1 Pompey 2: Matt Tubbs plays down exit rumours

Matt Tubbs. Picture: Joe Pepler
Matt Tubbs. Picture: Joe Pepler
  • Striker delivers late winner off the bench

Matt Tubbs shot down talk of a move away from Pompey as he delivered the perfect response to being left out.

With Jayden Stockley preferred to play the lone striker’s role by Blues boss Paul Cook, Tubbs had to settle for a place on the bench.

But the 31-year-old then had the final say as he came on as substitute and netted the late winner to fire the Blues to a 2-1 win at Luton Town.

Speculation has linked the striker with a move away ahead of tomorrow’s transfer deadline with suggestions he does not fit into the manager’s preferred system.

Tubbs, however, has no plans to pack his bags just yet.

He said: ‘I love this club, the fans are fantastic and I want to be a part of this club moving forward, rather than moving on.

‘I’m signed to Pompey until the end of next season.

‘It’s speculation. If there is an offer on the table, I’m sure everyone will assess it.

‘You see deals going through in the last hours before the deadline so you never know. But I’m more than happy to stay here.

‘I think it’s the perfect response to being left out.

‘You ask me or anyone in football, if you are on the bench and come on and score, it’s the perfect way to say to the manager “I’m still here”.

‘If a striker goes through on goal as Conor (Chaplin) did, nine times out of 10 they will go across the keeper so you get yourself into a position in case the keeper parries it.

‘He made a good save but luckily for me, it landed at my feet and I tapped it in.

‘Trust me, I could have missed it!

‘But it’s just instinct, I guess and it happens so quickly.’

Tubbs had previously been an ever-present in League Two since his January arrival and the striker showed his goalscoring pedigree to anticipate the rebound after Chaplin’s darting run and shot.

Gareth Evans had put Pompey ahead inside eight minutes before Craig Mackail-Smith’s penalty soon afterwards levelled matters.

But after finding out he had been left out of the starting line-up at 1.30pm, Tubbs was optimistic he would still have a part to play.

He said: ‘I found out I wasn’t playing in the dressing room before the game.

‘But I’ve been in the game long enough now to get an inkling as to whether you are going to be playing or not.

‘I had a gut feeling that I wasn’t.

‘The manager didn’t say anything to me but I’m a professional, I’m a modest lad and I’m not going to be knocking on his door asking why I didn’t start.

‘You can’t be selfish. The manager has got decisions to make.

‘So I prepared myself as I always do. You never know when you are going to be needed.

‘I thought I was likely to come on at some point so I had to be ready.

‘Thankfully, I was just there in the right place at the right time.’