Defender targets further improvement

Pompey defender Ritchie de Laet in action against Palace
Pompey defender Ritchie de Laet in action against Palace
Curtis Main scores a penalty against the Hawks in pre-season

Fulham under-21s v Pompey: Gaffer for a day

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Ritchie de Laet toasted his best performance for Pompey but insisted: I know I can do better.

The on-loan Manchester United right-back turned in a fine all-round display that earned him the sponsors’ man-of-the-match award.

He proved a menacing outlet down the right flank but also made some vital defensive contributions as Pompey kept a third successive clean sheet.

And de Laet believes he will keep improving as he settles into the ranks.

He said: ‘I think it was my best performance since I arrived here. I enjoyed myself and everything went well.

‘I just tried to chip in as much as I could.

‘It’s probably down to settling in and getting used to the environment a bit more.

‘I’ve been here for five or six weeks and you get to know the lads, they get to know me and it clicks.

‘Hopefully I can put in more performances like this.’

The defender required four stitches in his eyebrow after a first-half clash but shrugged off the injury.

He said: ‘It just comes with the job.

‘You battle away and when you want a clean sheet you have to put your head in.

‘I got an elbow and then the back of someone’s head – it just seemed to keep going!

‘But it’s another good win for us.’