DETERMINED Adam Buxton is eyeing finally claiming Pompey’s right-back spot after undergoing an exhaustive fitness regime.
The 24-year-old has fought back from ankle ligament damage and also dropped more than a stone in weight in his battle to claim a first-team place.
It is down to myself to get myself fit, nobody is going to do it for meAdam Buxton
Working with Ballys Boxing Gym trainer Gavin Jones twice a day, in addition to Blues training, it has been a gruelling schedule.
Nonetheless, the summer recruit from Accrington is back on track – and on Tuesday made his return for Pompey’s reserves.
With Drew Talbot expected to miss another month with his hamstring problem, Gareth Evans continues to fill-in at right-back.
But Buxton is closing in fast on a return.
He said: ‘I was out for all of pre-season. Straight away you are behind the lads and it’s hard playing catch up.
‘Then I received a bad tackle in the reserves against Southend when I was beginning to get back up to speed and that put me out for almost four weeks with ankle ligament damage.
‘These things happen – it’s about how you bounce back.
‘I have not come here to sit on the bench or make the numbers up, I want to be playing and in the starting XI every week. I will do whatever it takes to get there.
‘It is down to myself to get myself fit, nobody is going to do it for me.
‘So at 5am every day I’ve been in the boxing gym or doing sprints around Canoe Lake, then I go back to bed for a couple of hours before football training.
‘After that it’s back in the gym at 4pm – and Gavin has been top class with me, getting me fit in his own time when he doesn’t have to.
‘It gives me that extra chance to become fit as quickly as possible and, while it is hard work, it has got to be done.
‘I don’t mind taking part in boxing, I’m mates with the Smith brothers – Callum, Liam, Paul and Stephen.
‘Back home I used to get in the boxing gym once or twice a week to do a little bit, it’s something different and helps with fitness.
‘I’ve dropped more than a stone, which I had to lose when I came down here. I have to keep on top of it now.’
Buxton operated at right wing-back in the reserves’ 4-1 victory over Newport County on Tuesday afternoon.
He appeared for the full 90 minutes, with Michael Smith (two), Conor Chaplin and Kal Naismith netting in the Central League Cup fixture.
He added: ‘It was good to get a first 90 minutes under my belt and blow all those cobwebs off.
‘Drew is out and Gareth Evans has been doing a good job filling in, but once I can get up to speed I think I can go in and do a job there myself.
‘It’s hard to say when I’ll be ready, I’m just going to put the work in and when the gaffer feels it is right then I will take my chance.’