Gary Roberts: My Pompey ankle problem is behind me

Gary Roberts Picture: Joe Pepler
Gary Roberts Picture: Joe Pepler
Pompey's Brett Pitman scores a penalty in the Blues' 1-1 draw against Walsall at Fratton Park. Picture: Joe Pepler/Digital South.

Picture gallery: Pompey 1 Walsall 1

  • Roberts was absent from three Pompey starting line-ups following an ankle injury
  • Completed 90 minutes against Yeovil last weekend in his 10 appearance for the Blues
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Gary Roberts has been forced to explore new injury territory.

Now the creative midfielder is convinced he is over his ankle ligament woes to be able to help inspire Pompey to victory at Cambridge United.

The physio was saying I would be out for three weeks but I was saying a week, so we had to meet in the middle and I had a little cameo at Bristol Rovers

Gary Roberts

A crunching tackle by Barnet’s Sam Togwell last month left Roberts in agony – and out of Paul Cook’s starting line-up for the next three matches.

According to the 31-year-old, it represented the first time he has suffered an ankle injury in his career.

Nonetheless, he was back in the Blues side which drew against Yeovil Town at the weekend, playing the full 90 minutes.

He also featured for 60 minutes in the 3-1 behind-closed-doors win over Reading’s under-21s on Tuesday afternoon.

Roberts now believes he is over the problem – and ready to provide Pompey’s missing magic ingredient.

He said: ‘The ankle is alright. It’s getting there, it’s getting stronger.

‘It was ligaments but I didn’t want to be out for too long. I wanted to be back on the pitch. It won’t stop me, if there is any chance to get on to the pitch I will take it.

‘I’ve never had one on my ankle before so you never really know the pain threshold of it. It’s uncomfortable but doesn’t hurt.

‘Funnily enough it’s my first ankle injury. I don’t tackle, so don’t really get kicked!

‘The physio was saying I would be out for three weeks but I was saying a week, so we had to meet in the middle and I had a little cameo at Bristol Rovers.

‘It’s still there but I can play on it. You strap it up so you can’t feel it, a couple of painkillers and you are away. It is fine, I can get through matches.

‘It is not really impacting on my game at the moment – and if it was, the manager wouldn’t put me in the team because I wouldn’t want to let the lads down.

‘I thought I did alright against Yeovil, created enough, put enough balls in the box and played out wide left because there was no space in the middle of the pitch.

‘At the minute we just need one to go in off someone’s backside, or a bit of magic, especially at home.’

The Blues travel to the Abbey Stadium on Saturday seeking to maintain their impressive away form.

With 11 points from a possible 15 on their travels, it contrasts with their frustration at home.

As for the U’s, they have won only one of their last nine matches in all competitions.

Roberts added: ‘The results suggest we are better away from home but I don’t think we are doing much differently.

‘We just try to dominate the middle of the pitch and try to keep the ball.

‘I think the difference is teams on their home grounds have got to try to beat you.

‘Apart from Crawley, who had no interest in winning the game, the rest of them have had a go.

‘Cambridge are a big, physical side and have spent a bit of money as well.

‘I don’t think their fans would appreciate them sitting behind the ball against us,

‘But it’s a totally different test, it will be physical, they will get the ball forward and hopefully we can go there and win the game.’