Pompey hopeful happy to play waiting game

Kieran Djilali. Picture: Sarah Standing (122654-5649)
Kieran Djilali. Picture: Sarah Standing (122654-5649)
Pompey boss Kenny Jackett Picture: Joe Pepler

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Kieran Djilali is happy to play the waiting game.

The 21-year-old midfielder has been an ever-present triallist during Pompey’s pre-season campaign on home soil.

And he has been showing glimpses of the kind of form which saw him trailed by Manchester United in 2007.

But with Blues boss Michael Appleton still not allowed to complete the signings of his preferred triallists, Djilali’s wait for the deal he so craves goes on.

The winger has impressed during his three-week stay in Appleton’s squad.

The former AFC Wimbledon player even opened his Blues account with a goal in the 3-0 demolition of Championship outfit Bolton Wanderers at Fratton Park.

But while Djilali has admitted he is enjoying his chance to impress the Pompey coaching staff, he has insisted there is plenty more to come.

He said: ‘I’m not quite match fit yet – I’m getting there.

‘I’m just trying to take this opportunity to show everyone what I can do.

‘I really want to join Pompey and I hope I’ve done enough this pre-season to be kept on and help the club next season.

‘The lads have been great and it’s been a good pre-season.

‘I’ve played a few games and grabbed a goal, so I could not have asked for more.

‘Now I just want to earn a contract with the club.’

Although the uncertainty continues at Fratton Park – with the shackles yet to be removed from Appleton’s recruitment drive despite the final senior players completing compromise agreements at the end of last week – Djilali is refusing to push the panic button.

Instead he is prepared to repay the faith shown in him by Appleton and keep training with the club until there is the potential for a deal to be done.

‘I’m used to this scenario,’ said the former Crystal Palace youngster.

‘Last summer I spent time on trial with three clubs and got turned down by each, so I know the score and I’m fully prepared for it. Of course I want to get in and sign for the club as soon as I can but sometimes you have to just wait and see what happens.

‘I spent a long time injured last season, so I’m hoping for a more successful year this time and I hope I can have it with Pompey.

‘I’m just thankful to Michael Appleton for the chance I’ve been given here. This could be a good opportunity if things were to work out.’

While Djilali was part of the young side who were defeated by Salisbury City on Saturday, he is confident Appleton can put together a competitive squad when the shackles come off.

And he used the 3-0 humbling of Bolton as a prime example of that potential.

‘There’s no doubt this team is good enough to do well in League One,’ he said.

‘Look at what we did to Bolton. If we had the chance to keep that team together it’s good enough to do well.

‘There are good players. Liam Walker showed he could be a good addition – his goal against Wimbledon was something else. Hopefully things can just get sorted behind the scenes and it works out.’