A fan-tastic day to savour for Pompey pair
THEY numbered two of the 6,257-strong Blue Army which marched on Stadium MK.
But it proved a fan-tastic experience being on the other side of the fence for a couple of Kenny Jackett’s squad.
Christian Burgess and Stuart O’Keefe, of course, took their place among the masses of travelling Pompey fans at MK Dons’ home last month.
There was no special treatment for the pair, as they backed their team-mates who came from behind to pick up their first win of 2018 at the seventh attempt.
It’s a venue O’Keefe knows well, after making 18 appearances and scoring four goals for the club in a loan spell last season.
The midfielder played down the efforts he and his team-mate made to back Pompey.
And the dramatic manner in which his side stole late, late victory from Conor Chaplin made the experience that much more enjoyable.
O’Keefe said: ‘It was good. I played there for a little bit last year, we were taking a big following and it’s not that far to go to.
‘Christian was suspended, so we drove up on the day.
‘We were part of it and it was really nice to see it from a fans’ point of view and support the boys.
‘I enjoyed it and to get the win in the last minute topped it off.
‘It would have been a bit different if we’d lost 1-0 the way we were with 10 minutes to go.
‘We drove up there in the morning and drove back.
‘You don’t normally see it at all but with 6,000 there and a nice stadium, it just felt right for us to go up. It wasn’t a big deal.’
With O’Keefe missing since the mid-December with a groin injury, there was still the small matter of continuing his rehab before making the MK Dons trip.
Burgess was suspended after the red card picked up against Doncaster.
That meant work had to be undertaken at Pompey’s Roko training base before heading up the M1.
O’Keefe added there was no chance of the pair leaving the game early, though, as they joined their team-mates in the dressing room after the victory.
He said: ‘We were both in on the Saturday morning.
‘I had treatment and Burge trained. We just drove up afterwards and watched the game from the fans’ point of view.
‘We stayed right to the end. We went into the dressing rooms right after the game to congratulate the boys, so we were staying no matter what.’
O’Keefe explained he did see a few of the Pompey masses depart with the score 1-0, however.
That meant they weren’t around when Matt Clarke headed the leveller on 84 minutes.
And then came Chaplin’s poacher’s finish to get the party started.
O’Keefe said: ‘A few might have walked out on 82 minutes but it was nice to see the finish.
‘You feel like a bit of a fan, Conor deserved to come on and get the winner and I’m pleased for him.
‘We needed that resul. We hadn’t won in 2018, so it was a big win.’