Gary Roberts: I was average last season – but will do better for Pompey

Gary Roberts. Picture: Joe Pepler
Gary Roberts. Picture: Joe Pepler
Pompey boss Kenny Jackett. Picture: Joe Pepler

Jackett: Pompey need to go on unbeaten streak

  • Gary Roberts scored 10 goals in 38 games last season
  • Ankle injury suffered against Barnet in seventh Pompey outing hampered maiden campaign on the south coast
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Gary Roberts admits the Fratton faithful have still to see his best following an ‘average’ maiden campaign.

Now injury-free, the creative midfielder is ready to demonstrate his destructiveness in the season ahead.

I worked my socks off for the team and if I’d been fit for longer periods would have done better

Gary Roberts

Roberts netted 10 times and registered five assists in 38 appearances last term following a switch from League One Chesterfield.

However, an ankle problem sustained early on blunted his effectiveness for a large part of the campaign.

By his own admission, the 32-year-old has so far not scaled the heights he is capable of at Pompey.

Yet now free from his ankle problems, Roberts is relishing cranking up his Fratton Park contribution.

He said: ‘I could have done better last season.

‘As a midfielder you set yourself a goal target and I managed 10, but was disappointed with my own season. I should have scored a lot more goals and played a lot more games.

‘All-in-all my stats were not too bad, but overall it was an average season for me. Maybe below average.

‘It was disappointing, I like to think I can do a let better this season.

‘I worked my socks off for the team and if I’d been fit for longer periods would have done better.

‘It was stop-start, stop-start, and coming back from my ankle I was never really right. I didn’t want an operation and it took time, getting momentum was a problem.

‘Now I am fit and will do a lot better this season, without a doubt.

‘I missed 18 games and if you can get more than 10 goals it is a half-decent season.’

Despite his honest self-appraisal, only Marc McNulty and Conor Chaplin netted more goals last season.

There were also moments of inspiration against Morecambe, Yeovil and at Dagenham & Redbridge which helped earn points when the Blues looked buried.

In addition, there was the jaw-dropping team move against Bournemouth in the FA Cup, which the former Ipswich man finished off.

Yet the ankle injury inflicted by Barnet’s Sam Togwell in September proved pivotal in his campaign.

Roberts added: ‘I initially got injured at Bognor in pre-season, although wasn’t too bad going into the campaign and was fit for the opener against Dagenham.

‘Then I was caught against Barnet and knew it wasn’t right.

‘From then on I was struggling, you are losing fitness and losing sharpness, I had to go to see two or three specialists.

‘I think every player needs a run of games, if it is stop-start you are fighting a losing battle. I don’t like missing games, in the long run it is not good.

‘I am a fit lad and can get about, it’s just that the injuries I’ve had have been impact injuries from tackles.

‘Now I’m looking forward to this season.’