Pompey to decide on McGurk green light

Adam McGurk, left, netted on Tuesday night. Picture: Colin Farmery
Adam McGurk, left, netted on Tuesday night. Picture: Colin Farmery
  • McGurk was among five different goalscorers in the hammering at Burnham
  • The forward has played just three pre-season matches through injury

Pompey will today assess whether Adam McGurk is ready to return to the first-team frame.

The 26-year-old netted for a Pompey XI at Burnham on Tuesday night in his first start for the club.

It has been frustrating for him because it has been a niggle. He just had a little bit of scar tissue in an old thigh injury which has been niggling away at him

Ian Foster

The fixture also marked a return to the side having missed the previous three friendlies with a thigh injury.

First-team coach Ian Foster oversaw the 5-0 victory at The Gore and was impressed with the contribution of McGurk, who featured for 65 minutes.

And Foster is hoping the 26-year-old can be given the all-clear to now challenge for Saturday’s League Two opener against Dagenham & Redbridge.

He said: ‘Adam has had a difficult pre-season and only came back into training on Monday.

‘Sean Duggan (Pompey’s physio) actually didn’t want him involved, in all honesty!

‘But Adam is desperate to play, desperate to get minutes under his belt and his headed goal was fabulous on Tuesday night.

‘His worth ethic was also first-class for someone who has been out for such a long time in pre-season.

‘It has been frustrating for him because it has been a niggle. He just had a little bit of scar tissue in an old thigh injury which has been niggling away at him.

‘He’s a bright lad, very chirpy, always has a smile on his face, has kept his spirits up and the medical lads have done terrific to get him back to us in the timeframe they have.

‘Adam has come in and shown the manager why he has brought him to the football club.

‘After the game he was pain-free and had come through unscathed, which is fabulous.

‘We will assess him today and just see how he settles down from there. Then I am sure the manager can make a decision.’

The final friendly of Pompey’s pre-season schedule also saw Ben Tollitt granted a first start.

The 20-year-old has been one of Paul Cook’s many summer recruits having appeared for Skelmersdale United last season.

And the winger also caught Foster’s eye with an energetic display.

He added: ‘Ben was terrific at Burnham.

‘We have seen what he can do, he picks the ball up and is very, very direct. He is dead positive, puts defenders on the back foot, drops his shoulder and can go the other way and did some fabulous things on Tuesday night.

‘One thing is for certain, he gets you on the edge of your seat and is really, really positive in his play.

‘His run for the third goal was unbelieveable.

‘He is one of those players who is lightning quick in possession of the ball and that is a difficult skill.

‘When he dribbles with it he is very quick and drove into the box and pulled the ball back for Brandon (Joseph-Buadi) to score from close range.

‘Over a course of a season it will be tough for him. With it being his first campaign in League Two it will be quite demanding.’