Pompey skipper Pitman otivated by pure hunger to score goals

There's no target, no numbers scrawled upon a wish list, no ambitious figure trained within the gun sights.

Saturday, 28th July 2018, 5:07 pm
Updated Saturday, 28th July 2018, 5:17 pm

Brett Pitman is being Brett Pitman.

The thirst for goals does not necessite lofty objectives to motivate. As ever, the insatiable drive comes from within.

The 30-year-old's fierce desire to score is not merely restricted to match duty, it's a craving also dominant on the training pitch.

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Every face-contorting scowl and each anguished cry reflects the agony of missing a glinting opportunity in training sessions.

Then there's the unrestrained joy upon the ball striking the back of the net.

This model professional relies on inspiration from within, not the dangling of carrots and bonuses.

Pitman said: '˜I don't set myself targets, I didn't last year and I won't this year.

'˜It is a desire. It's a desire to score goals to help the team, that is my way of helping the team.

'˜There are a lot of strikers, a lot of forwards, who don't have that desire to score goals and want to run here there and everywhere.

'˜Then you come to the end of the season and they have scored nine or 10 goals.

'˜As much as they have probably helped the team in other ways, they haven't done their job.

'˜My job is to score goals, that's how I see it, that's what the gaffer wants me to do and hopefully I'll be able to do it.

'˜That desire is something I've had since five years old.

'˜You want to score goals '“ there is nothing better than seeing the ball hit the net.

'˜There are a lot of people who don't have it but I do and that's how it is.

'˜When I first started playing football at primary school, I always wanted to score goals.

'˜Even if you've scored five in a game at primary school, you still want to six or seven.

'˜I netted twice in the last game of the season against Peterborough and came away disappointed because I should have had four or five really.

'˜I don't think you are ever satisfied '“ whether you've scored two, three or four in a game, you want to score more.

'˜A lot of strikers aren't like that, maybe it's selfish, maybe it's not but that's how I am.

'˜Strikers ultimately get judged on how many goals they score. That is how I would judge a forward.

'˜If you score goals then you earn your place in the team.

'˜Training is slightly different. You want to score but it is not the be-all and end-all.

'˜Of course you want to score and are disappointed if you miss chances but at the back of your mind you know Saturday and Tuesday night is the main time, that is when you are paid to perform.

'˜Even if I miss three chances in training on a Friday, I am not going to think about it on the Saturday.

'˜When I get my next chance I will try to score that one.

'˜That's how I am, that's how I work.'

Pitman registered 25 goals in 41 appearances for the Blues last season.

In doing so, he became the first player since Svetoslav Todorov in 2003 to break the prized 20-goal barrier.

Jackett's skipper also endured injury-influenced spells out of the team on occasions '“ periods which coincided in poor results for Pompey.

Clearly, a player possessing his goal-scoring credentials is crucial to any success the club are striving for in the approaching campaign, in this instance the ambition centred on improving on an eighth-placed finish.

For Pitman, the challenge remains to maintain that consistency, particularly when his reputation precedes him to establish the ex-Bournemouth player as a marked man in League One.

He added: '˜It was a good campaign and now my aim and challenge is to replicate it this season. We'll see what happens.

'˜It is going to be difficult but that is the challenge and something I'm looking forward to.

'˜I can imagine it is going to be a lot tougher to score 25 goals just because people are going to pay more attention to you.

'˜That's how it is but I still back myself to score goals.

'˜We have the quality and depth in our squad so that not only me scores the goals but others, too.

'˜There are threats across the pitch.

'˜Definitely towards the end of the season I felt at times people were holding me in the box and I couldn't move.

'˜Maybe it wasn't a tactic but certainly felt like it.

'˜But if we are winning games and I'm not scoring, that's fine.

'˜As long as I am still doing a job for the team, that's the main thing.'