MATT TUBBS has been backed to hit the Pompey goal trail as he gears up for his home debut.
And Nicky Shorey believes the striker’s partnership with Ryan Taylor will soon reap dividends for the Blues.
Tubbs was knocked off the summit of the League Two goal charts last weekend, as he drew a blank on his debut against Newport County.
Northampton’s Marc Richards now tops the pile with 13 strikes after his effort in the Cobblers’ 2-0 win at Exeter City.
Shorey knows enough about 30-year-old Tubbs to believe he will bring a cutting edge, as he gears up for his Fratton bow against high-flying Burton Albion tomorrow.
‘I think Matt has already shown his quality,’ said Shorey. ‘He didn’t get a goal at Newport but his overall play was good and he has already fitted in well.
‘We’re looking forward to working with him. You get to know people on the circuit and we know the qualities he has. I’m sure he’s capable of getting on a decent run.’
Andy Awford ditched the 4-2-3-1 formation which earned a point at Luton, following Tubbs’ arrival.
That saw him partnered with Taylor at Newport in a link-up Shorey believes showed potential.
Now West Ham striker Paul McCallum has arrived to bolster Awford’s attacking options.
But Shorey felt the Taylor-Tubbs combination was impressive.
He said: ‘Matt worked well with Ryan and it looked promising
‘They are both technical players and are good on the ball.
‘I think Westie (Craig Westcarr) showed last weekend when he came on what he can do, too.
‘We’ve got an array of talent up front now and hopefully that will pay dividends over the final part of the season.’
Memories of a lacklustre display at Burton in September will fire up Pompey for tomorrow’s clash.
But Shorey has been encouraged by the performances in the past two games at Newport County and Luton.
‘If the performances stay at the level they have been for the past two games the results will follow,’ he said.
‘We conceded after five minutes up at Burton and straightway we were on the back foot.
‘It was tough up there and we weren’t at our best.
‘There was a period earlier in the season when we kept doing that and had to come back.
‘But now we’re looking more solid and giving ourselves a platform to build on.
‘They (Burton) are going well but we are confident of what we can do – especially at home.’
The fixture with the Brewers starts a testing run of fixtures against high-flying sides, with clashes against Southend and Wycombe to follow.
Shorey isn’t concerned about the stiffness of those tests, though.
‘In this league you see strange results,’ said the defender.
There is nothing for us to fear in this division, that’s for sure.
‘Anyone can beat anyone on any given day. There is nothing to fear with the players we have. There are signs of what we are capable of.’