Pompey midfielder still on a learning curve

Liam Walker scores from spot kick'Portsmouth V Carlisle United'Npower League One'Fratton Park'Sat 16/2/2013 15:00
Liam Walker scores from spot kick'Portsmouth V Carlisle United'Npower League One'Fratton Park'Sat 16/2/2013 15:00

Liam Walker kept his cool to earn Pompey a point but insisted: I’m still learning.

The 24-year-old midfielder came off the bench to net a 78th-minute penalty in the 1-1 draw with Carlisle to further boost his standing among the Blues fans.

With Pompey short of creativity, the clamour for his inclusion continues to grow.

But Walker, who joined from Spanish outfit San Roque in the summer, is determined to work on all areas of his game to earn himself a regular starting berth.

He said: ‘I am learning all the time.

‘In Spain, it was more of a passing game – sometimes in this league, it’s being booted around a lot.

‘Obviously it’s different, but when I play, I try to risk the last pass to create chances.

‘I like getting the ball down and playing.

‘I know you’ve got to do the dirty side of the game as well but the game is called football.

‘I always say I am learning. Every day, I want to train and I want to learn. That’s all I want to do.

‘I just want to be a better player and give everything for this club.’

Walker has certainly been a victim of Pompey’s poor run of results.

His opportunities have been limited by the solid approach adopted by caretaker boss Guy Whittingham of late.

But while he is more lightweight and can been accused of losing possession too often, he also adds a spark of quality and vision few others in the squad can provide.

He said: ‘Guy puts out the team who he thinks is the best team for that match.

‘It’s up to the manager. If he doesn’t think I am right for that game, he will put on who he thinks is better.

‘So if I don’t get on, I need to wait for my time and take it when I do come on.

‘But I will try to work on a few things in training and just try to get better at things I am not so good at.

‘I will try to work on the other side of the game but that also comes with experience as well.

‘The more games I get, the more experience I will get. I suppose time will help.’

Considering the club’s woes from the penalty spot this season – with four misses between Brian Howard and Izale McLeod – the player who was spotted on the summer tour to Spain and Gibraltar was confident he would score.

He said: ‘I’ve always been confident from a dead ball and I’ve taken a few penalties before.

‘There have been a few missed this season but it always helps if you go up believing you are going to stick it away.

‘If you hit the bottom corner or the top corner, it will take a very good save to stop it.

‘I had been praticising them on Friday in training, so I was confident to step up and take it.

‘It was my first goal in front of the home fans, so it was nice to get a cheer from them, too.’