Hot-shot sets goal target

Pompey striker Ryan Bird
Pompey striker Ryan Bird
Carl Baker. Picture: Joe Pepler

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Ryan Bird has set his sights on his burying his haunting Accrington miss and vowed: I want to hit double figures.

The former non-league hotshot has set his sights on breaking the 10-goal barrier this season for Pompey after making the step up into the pro game.

Bird admitted that minutes on the pitch will dictate his chances of doing that but he is hopeful of regular outings after two substitute appearances so far this season.

One of those came in the 2-2 draw at Accrington earlier this month.

A great chance to grab all the points fell Bird’s way in the last seconds of the game but he smashed it narrowly over the bar.

The 25-year-old admitted he has constantly played the moment over in his head in the wake of the game. He remains confident he will take the next chance which comes his way, however, after hitting 45 goals for Southern League outfit Burnham last season.

And that will get him off and running towards his target.

Bird said: ‘I’d like to get into double figures for goals.

‘But I’m not sure how many minutes I’m going to get yet.

‘There’s nothing set really but I know there are going to be a few injuries.

‘If there are injuries and suspensions, I can get my chance then – and it’s up to me to take it.

‘I don’t think I’m a million miles away from the first team.

‘I knew I wouldn’t come on against Oxford after Johnny Ertl was sent off. But I was the first one on at Accrington and I got about 30 minutes against Bournemouth.

‘I had a good chance against Accrington and should have taken another touch past the defender.

‘It sat quite nicely, though, and I just hit it. My left foot is fine but maybe I should’ve taken a touch.

‘I hit it early because I thought the goalkeeper wouldn’t be set if I did that but it went over.

‘I’ve watched it 500 times now. Seriously, I keep rewinding it.

‘It does annoy me because, after the keeper took the goal-kick, the whistle went.

‘If it had gone in I’d definitely have jumped over the barrier into the crowd. I’d take a yellow card for it!

‘I still think about it now but the next one will go my way.’

Bird spoke of his delight at being welcomed with open arms by Pompey fans, who have handed him his own ‘Bird is the Word’ song.

He said: ‘It’s quality. My friend used to do it messing around a couple of years ago.

‘Now it’s going on and on and the fans are singing it here. It’s brilliant to see them do it.

‘My mate was at the Bournemouth game with the fans and recorded it when I came on.

‘I want to score so they are able to do it properly.

‘I didn’t have a song at my old club, so it’s not bad to have one now!’