Forde: Concentration's the Pompey key
THE powers of concentration are strong with David Forde '“ and they need to be.
The veteran keeper is adapting to life at Fratton Park following his loan switch from Millwall.
Just four matches in, he has been shown how the job of a Pompey keeper can be a spectator sport.
Under Paul Cook, the side’s focus is on possession, a dominance which often leaves the rearguard with little action.
Still, Forde demonstrated his mental strength with several excellent late saves in last weekend’s 2-0 win over Colchester.
And he acknowledges it is a standard of concentration he needs to maintain if he is to be a Pompey success.
Forde said: ’In the first-half against Colchester we were totally dominant and I was a relative spectator again.
‘My concentration is going to be vital for me this year.
‘It is about understanding the team, the dynamics and the way it is going to unfold this year, especially at Fratton Park.
‘Teams are going to come and sit in so I just have to be sharp and ready to make a save.
‘It is not really difficult keeping concentration, experience helps. I’ve played in league games and international games, all types of scenarios, so you have to use that to the best of your abilities.
‘When I first came the lads told me about how the opposition play at Fratton Park, but it is not until you actually experience it first hand that you really notice.
‘I’ve witnessed it already, so concentration is going to be important.’
Forde has now recorded two clean sheets from his four Pompey appearances as he settles in.
Certainly his Saturday display caught the eye as the Fratton faithful hope the long-standing goalkeeping problem has finally been resolved.
The 36-year-old has already seen off Paul Jones, who within a week of his arrival from Millwall opted to leave and join Norwich City.
Jones started their EFL Cup match at Coventry on Tuesday night, resulting in a 6-1 success for the Canaries.
Liam O’Brien has since been handed a month-to-month deal at Pompey, occupying the substitute keeper role.
Meanwhile, Alex Bass has joined Salisbury on an initial month’s loan.
And Forde, who yesterday was named in the Republic of Ireland’s squad for two forthcoming games, is enjoying himself.
He added: ‘It’s great to keep clean sheets because it breeds confidence throughout the whole side.
‘That is now two in four matches, if we can keep going at that rate and scoring at the other end then we will be there or thereabouts.
‘I am still learning about the players, still learning about the club, it is early doors and hopefully I can maintain the form I am showing at the moment.
‘I am thoroughly enjoying my time, it is an amazing experience so far and I’m hoping we can be successful.’