Shorey eyeing bright Pompey season

Nicky Shorey. Picture: Joe Pepler
Nicky Shorey. Picture: Joe Pepler

Pompey boss praise for riding out defensive storm

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Nicky Shorey is eyeing Pompey success after committing himself to Andy Awford’s vision.

The 33-year-old yesterday put pen to paper on a deal to keep him at Fratton Park for another 12 months.

It was recognition of the former England man’s consistent performances and steadying presence within the Blues squad.

After arriving as a free agent in January, Shorey appeared in 21 of the final 22 matches of the season, primarily at left-back, producing some composed displays.

Now he has joined Danny Hollands in staying with the Blues as Awford revamps his squad following his permanent appointment as boss.

Talks are continuing with Jed Wallace, Bondz N’Gala, Jack Maloney and Nick Awford to also keep them at Fratton.

In the meantime, Shorey is delighted to be part of a set-up he hopes can achieve next season.

He said: ‘As soon as they said they wanted me to stay at Portsmouth I was happy to do so.

‘I had a great time at the end of last season and got on well with the gaffer as well. I really like the way he goes about things.

‘I think it went well for the team in the end, I was enjoying my football and when I do, that’s the main thing for me.

‘The last seven games were a real pleasure. I felt we played really well as a team and got things going.

‘When you are on a run like that you don’t even think about the results, they come. If the gaffer can keep the nucleus and add a bit more quality, I am sure we can have a successful season.

‘I’m certainly hopefully we can keep our good end to the campaign going when it starts again in August.

‘We have all got to know each other and bonded as a squad and with the coaching staff – and I am looking forward to getting back for pre-season.’

Dan Butler’s re-emergence following injury and two successful loan spells at Aldershot will see increased competition in the left-back area next term.

The 19-year-old will vie with Shorey for a first-team spot, although the versatile Danny East also performed there on occasions.

Regardless, Shorey is relishing continuing to play regularly in front of the Fratton faithful.

He added: ‘Fratton Park has one of the best atmospheres I have played in – and I am not just saying that because I have signed a new deal.

‘They create a place that is unique. It’s amazing.

‘The supporters are terrific both at home and away and it makes a real difference, especially in the lower leagues when other teams don’t get as many fans through the gates.

‘You know when you are scoring goals, playing well and winning games that the fans are going to get right behind you.

‘But, to be fair, even before when we were not doing those things they were really supporting us.’