Fighting spirit can lift Blues up table

Chris Maguire makes his first Pompey start
Chris Maguire makes his first Pompey start
Pompey midfielder Carl Baker Picture: Joe Pepler

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Chris Maguire gave a nod of approval towards his new team-mates despite his Fratton career getting off to a losing start.

The on-loan striker played the final 11 minutes after coming on as a substitute against Brighton on Saturday.

He couldn’t help prevent a 2-0 defeat which puts Michael Appleton’s men even further adrift of Championship safety.

But Maguire was impressed with aspects of the visitors’ play.

The 23-year-old is on loan at Fratton Park for an initial 28 days, having replaced Liam Lawrence in the squad.

And from what he witnessed at the Amex Stadium, he believes Pompey’s fighting spirit and determination can help them to Championship safety.

He said: ‘Everybody worked their socks off and, to be fair, I thought we were very unlucky.

‘Obviously Brighton had a lot of possession but at times they don’t trouble you that much.

‘I thought when we did go forward, we looked as if we could cause a threat.

‘You need a bit of luck when you are down there and a few decisions went against us. Hopefully we can get them in the coming weeks.

‘We could go out there and lie down and feel sorry for ourselves – especially with the situation the club is in at the moment – but everybody here is fighting for their job and fighting for the club.

‘Brighton were always going to come at us, we knew they would have long spells on the ball but we stuck at the job and to be fair it was maybe a soft free-kick for the goal.

‘There is a lot of game time and points up for grabs.

‘If we go out there and work as hard as we did on Saturday, maybe getting a bit of luck on the way, then I am sure we can start climbing the table.’

For Maguire, Saturday represented a first appearance since November 19.

The Scotland international striker has found himself out in the cold at Derby, after joining them in the summer.

And he is relishing his chance to prove himself at Pompey.

He added: ‘It was nice to get on the field, although it was a difficult time to come on, just after they had scored.

‘I am not coming here just to sit about.

‘I want to come and help the team and hopefully I can help the boys push out of the relegation zone.’

– JORDAN CROSS