Pompey striker targets big year

Michael Drennan. Picture: Joe Pepler
Michael Drennan. Picture: Joe Pepler
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Michael Drennan admitted he is facing a big year in his fledgling football career.

And he is hoping a successful Pompey loan spell can help plot a future.

The Aston Villa striker is out of contract at the end of this campaign and failed to appear for the Premier League side in pre-season.

Instead he spent his time with their development group before making a Pompey switch on an initial month’s loan.

Fratton Park offers Drennan crucial first-team opportunities ahead of Villa deciding whether to retain his services.

To date he has made three Blues appearances, starting the last two League Two matches under Andy Awford.

The 20-year-old will once again be in the frame for the tough weekend trip to Bury as Awford seeks to improve his team’s goal output.

And the energetic youngster is itching to shine ahead of the Villa decision.

He said: ‘I’ve been in and around the place at Villa, trying to prove myself but they have a big squad up there, about 25 or 26.

‘I didn’t play with them pre-season, so it’s hard to break in and catch Paul Lambert’s eye but hopefully I can score goals and do well here.

‘My contract is up at the end of the season, so it’s a big year for my future.

‘It’s not too early to think about it.

‘I will know about my contract soon enough, probably just after Christmas so that is when you find out.

‘Hopefully I can either stay at Villa or another team picks me up.

‘You are always under pressure, no matter where you are or what your contract is, so nothing is different.

‘I think everyone has a chance but if you get the chance you have to take it and have a bit of luck on the way.

‘I believe I can play for Villa, everyone at Villa can make it.

‘You wouldn’t be there if you were not good enough but I just want to improve me.

‘That’s the aim, especially when you can play in front of 17,000 every week.

‘Fratton Park is probably the best atmosphere I have ever experienced.

‘I just want to do well here and will give everything to make sure that happens.’

Drennan made an impact with the Blues last year when he scored three times in 10 matches.

That persuaded Awford to bring him back to the south coast last month and he put in an encouraging display on his second full debut at York.

That lively showing in the goalless Bootham Crescent draw earned praise from the Blues boss, who was forced to substitute him following a kick to the calf.

That kept Drennan out of the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy match with Northampton but he was back in the side for the 1-1 draw with Mansfield.

Pompey’s striking ranks also contain Craig Westcarr, Ryan Taylor, Patrick Agyemang and Miles Storey, yet the Villa man offers something different.