Ward targeting Blues right-back role

Joel Ward

Joel Ward

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Joel Ward is eyeing Pompey’s right-back slot as he bids for a regular run in the side.

The 21-year-old has been in and out of Steve Cotterill’s team this season.

So far he has served at left-back, right-back and across midfield, displaying his invaluable versatility.

Such is his determination to feature, Ward would be prepared to fulfil any role in order to win a starting spot.

But it is as a right-back where his Blues preference lies.

Aaron Mokoena has started four of the last five matches in that position.

However, it was Ward entrusted with the job during the last Fratton fixture against Cardiff.

And the youngster would relish another opportunity to prove his worth.

He said: ‘My favourite po-ition is right-back.

‘Having said that, I am happy to play and to do a job where it needs to be done to the best of my ability.

‘At the end of the day I want to play, that’s the main thing for me. I love to play.

‘But right-back is my preference.

‘Myself and the gaffer have always spoken about it and I think in his eyes I am more of a right-back.

‘Hopefully I will get the opportunity to play there and make that position mine.

‘Although there is competition.

‘Regardless, if I am playing in midfield or anywhere else I will give everything I’ve got.

‘I’ll always give 100 per cent.

‘At the end of the day, you do your best and keep on working, trying to make sure you maintain the same work-rate and keep moving forward.

‘And that’s what I’m trying to do.’

Ward will be part of a Pompey squad this weekend seeking to put behind them successive away defeats.

Since their last outing at Fratton Park against Cardiff, they have lost at West Ham and Hull.

Ward featured in midfield during that disappointing KC Stadium display.

He is likely going to be forced to relinquish that role against Blackpool on Saturday with the return of Liam Lawrence following suspension.

Regardless, the Pompey players realise they need a Fratton win to get their season up and running.

Ward added: ‘It has been a tough start but we’ve got the quality of players and should be able to deal with that.

‘We know there have been difficult fixtures.

‘But we have to make sure we stay focused – which we are for the game against Blackpool on Saturday.

‘Obviously it’s about keeping your heads down and working hard.

‘When we do that we’ll get the results we want.

‘We want to make sure we keep moving forward.

‘And hopefully results will start to turn out for us.’

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