Pompey player of the season contender’s uncertain farewell

Milan Lalkovic in pre-season action against the Hawks

Pompey winger set for return against Walsall

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It could be a trophy-laden final farewell in front of a packed Fratton Park.

Alternately, this may precede the start of life as a permanent Pompey player and an exciting future together.

Regardless, Trevor Carson has been pleased with the standard of his Blues performances during his 38 matches to date on loan from Bury.

Out of contract after tomorrow’s last match against Plymouth, he awaits news on whether new boss Andy Awford wants him as part of his plans.

With seven player-of-the-season trophies to be announced before kick-off, he also finds himself in the thick of supporters’ voting.

And there is a very real possibility Carson will end the campaign with the Blues clutching several of them.

As with his contract, all will soon be revealed.

In the meantime, the former Sunderland keeper can reflect on an impressive loan spell, during which he is convinced he has developed as a player.

‘That mistake at Morecambe is probably the last bad error I made and it has been good to bounce back from that,’ said Carson.

‘I have learned a lot and this really has been an unbelievable experience.

‘As a kid I’ve always dreamt of playing in front of 18,000 fans in packed stadiums – and I’ve now done that at Fratton Park.

‘I feel I have done alright. If you would give me a mark out of 10 I would say a seven, which is alright. I would have taken it before I came.

‘I am still relatively young for a keeper at 26 and everyone knows I am not the biggest for a goalie, so I am a bit limited with what I can do.

‘But you know your limits, so hopefully I will make the best of my ability and what I have got.

‘I will give my all, I’m a winner, I hate getting beat, and I feel I am getting better and better with age. I am learning so much about the game.

‘I had been at Bury but it is not going to infect you within a year, especially when you are relegated. With Pompey I have that feeling.

‘The bug gets you. I had it the first day coming into work at Fratton Park. Especially at this level, it’s a cut above the rest in stature and hopefully I can stay.’

Yesterday’s appointment of Awford as permanent manager has inevitably been well received by supporters and players alike.

An eternally-popular figure at the club, the 41-year-old’s outstanding record during his second spell as caretaker boss won him the position.

Victory over Plymouth tomorrow will ensure the Blues can finish the campaign in the top 10 of League Two – a remarkable thought considering their position five weeks ago.

Since his appointment, Awford has managed to stress to an underachieving playing squad what the club truly means to its fanatic fan base.

And the result has been spectacular.

Carson added: ‘Before the home games, there must be 20 different pictures of the “Ours” posters around the dressing room – as well as little speeches and sayings, motivational stuff.

‘Awfs has rattled on about the spirit of Pompey so you want to go to war for him.

‘At five minutes to three the lads are banging the door down to go out, I had never seen that here before.

‘No disrespect to Guy (Whittingham), I thought he was top drawer, but I thought we were too nice in the dressing room, we were just shaking hands and going out.

‘But Awfs has got everyone chomping at the bit and starting straight out the blocks.’