New-boy Sullivan pledges to prove his Pompey worth

John Sullivan
John Sullivan
Dion Donohue is sent off at Doncaster. Picture: Paul Currie

Pompey boss warns red carded defender

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John Sullivan has vowed to convince the Fratton faithful he deserves to be crowned Pompey No1.

The former Charlton man yesterday became the Blues’ 10th summer signing, penning a two-year deal.

At the age of 25, he has made 62 appearances in a career which has taken him to six clubs before his Fratton Park arrival.

Now the time has come for Sullivan to establish himself as a regular in goal.

An impressive loan spell at AFC Wimbledon at the end of the season saw them rival Pompey for his signature – but he plumped for Guy Whittingham’s side.

He must now fight Phil Smith for a first-team spot following Simon Eastwood’s departure for Blackburn.

And Sullivan is relishing proving himself in the battle ahead.

He said: ‘I have always had permanent offers from good clubs – such as Charlton, Brighton and Millwall – but for whatever reason it hasn’t worked out.

‘I have never complained, though.

‘I have been part of two promotion-winning teams –pushing other keepers hard.

‘For me, I don’t think the amount of games I’ve played really matters much, especially as a keeper.

‘I know what I can do and I will show people.

‘I like to look after myself, I am still thinking I have 15 years in myself and I am looking at the long haul.

‘I’ve gone on loan to other clubs and you are not guaranteed first-team football, so I know I have to come in and show the manager what I can do.

‘Certainly I’ve not been told I am first choice at Pompey.

‘With Phil Smith there, I wouldn’t expect to be told that.

‘It’s about competition and you never disrespect another keeper by saying things like that.

‘But I am fully focused and I will give everything to show what I can do at this football club.’

Hailing from Worthing, the keeper started his career at boyhood-heroes Brighton.

After 17 appearances he moved to Millwall and has since featured for Yeovil, Charlton and Colchester.

Sullivan then won plenty of praise for his loan heroics at AFC Wimbledon, where he helped keep them in the Football League on the last day of the season.

And on Tuesday he was presented with the choice of whether or not to join them permanently.

He added: ‘Football is a weird one.

‘I was waiting to find something this summer and hadn’t heard a lot – then I get two offers on the same day!

‘Wimbledon were great for me, it’s a really good club, and then there was Pompey. I talked to both on Tuesday.

‘I’m from down the coast, my family is from Worthing and I know the fans and the club’s history.

‘I have to say, when it came to it, it was a no-brainer.’