Thorne wants to be a star performer

George Thorne'Portsmouth V Leicester'Fratton Park'Npower Championship'26/11/2011 Saturday 15:00
George Thorne'Portsmouth V Leicester'Fratton Park'Npower Championship'26/11/2011 Saturday 15:00
Matty Kennedy. Picture: Joe Pepler

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The bar is raised high for George Thorne.

And with good reason too, for a teenager touted as one of football’s future hot properties.

Ever since Thorne became the youngest man to appear for West Brom in nearly half a decade, at the age of 16 years and 328 days in 2009, high hopes have rested on the midfielder.

They are expectations the 18-year-old has become accustomed to – largely because he places them on himself.

Thorne wants to mix it with the best at the highest level.

He’s fully aware that means standing out as the very best in the Championship.

Thorne has the conviction he can do that during his loan stay with Pompey.

He is quietly confident he can add a different dimension to Michael Appleton’s side with his vision and passing ability.

‘I’m definitely a ball player,’ said Thorne, who has made a good impression in his two games so far with his efficiency.

‘I like to get on the ball. I feel my strengths are in possession.

‘I’m one who likes to get the team passing, get on the ball and get forward if I can.

‘I want to create chances, get the team going and get things moving.

‘I want to play with the freedom the manager has described.

‘I’m comfortable here and in the role I’ve been asked to do.

‘I was a 16-year-old who was given a chance in the Championship. It was a tester for me to be able to push on.

‘My targets are set high, so I need to come to the Championship and be one of the best players if I am to make it where I want.’

Thorne has been handed a role in the centre of midfield by Appleton since coming into the team.

His remit has been to play exactly the kind of game he feels he is best suited to alongside Hayden Mullins.

Thorne’s intelligence has stood out so far, with an ability to screen the back four and cut out threats an added bonus.

It’s keeping things ticking over when his side are in possession that has been his key asset, however.

Thorne believes his influence will increase as he gets games under his belt and improves his fitness.

He admits getting used to the hustle and bustle of the Championship and gaining an understanding with is new team-mates are other factors which will help his impact.

Thorne said: ‘It’s tough. The Championship is a rough league.

‘There’s some quality in this league, though, so it’s tough to get to grips with.

‘I need a bit of match fitness and that will come with the minutes I get.

‘Hopefully I can push on and get give some solid performances.

‘There are quality lads here, on and off the pitch.

‘There’s almost a hunger – because of the off-the-field antics – to give the fans something.

‘We want to push on and show them we aren’t about that.

‘We’re connecting on the football side of things.

‘The more I get to know everyone, the more I think I can do that.

‘We want to work our way up this league and eventually get on to bigger and better things.’

Thorne’s loan stay at Pompey runs until January 2 but the talent has already made it clear he is open to staying beyond that date.

He is realistic about the club’s ambitions, given their Championship position and recent developments off the pitch.

But Thorne is keen to play a role in helping Pompey get back on its feet again.

He said: ‘There’s the off-the-pitch side of things.

‘We’re here to concentrate on getting Portsmouth back to the club it used to be.

‘That means eventually being back in the Premier League.

‘We are going to have to set our targets realistically this year and cement a strong place in the Championship.’