O'Brien targeting regular football after Pompey exit
Liam O'Brien has set his sights on regular first-team football after opting to walk away from Fratton Park.
The out-of-contract goalkeeper yesterday joined Coventry City on a two-year deal.
Paul Cook had told the 25-year-old he wanted him to remain with the Blues, yet no contract was ever tabled.
Instead of waiting over the summer, O’Brien decided to settle his future early, agreeing a switch to the Sky Blues.
David Forde was ever-present in goal for the League Two title-winning campaign, restricting O’Brien to three Checkatrade Trophy outings.
Now the former Pompey Academy graduate is eyeing pushing for a spot in Coventry’s starting line-up.
He said: ‘I spoke to Cookie and he said he wanted to sort a deal out but nothing was actually put on the table.
‘There was nothing for me to take back to the family to have a look at and decide what was best for me.
‘I was told something would be offered but the phone call never came.
‘I’ve been in that position a few times. The season has finished, I’ve a holiday planned but don’t know where I’m going to be when I get back.
‘I couldn’t wait around forever – and there was an opportunity to go to Coventry and get into the team and play games.
‘Living in Gosport, Portsmouth is ideal for me and a club close to my heart but it just feels right to move on.
‘Without playing games this year and then stepping up to the next level, I could see myself being in the same position again.
‘I’d had a season, played some reserve games, played some cup games but this happens in football.
‘It’s time to go somewhere else and make a name for myself.’
Following his arrival on an initial month-to-month deal in August, O’Brien was an unused substitute in 45 of Pompey’s 46 league fixtures.
Although, he was granted outings in the Checkatrade Trophy.
The keeper was also a regular in the reserves’ Premier League Cup campaign which reached the semi-final stage.
And O’Brien enjoyed his second Fratton Park spell having initially been released in October 2010.
He added: ‘When I left the first time I never thought I would get the opportunity to come back.
‘It ended up being a great year and one I will always remember.
‘It’s just a shame I cannot be there for longer but things change.
‘I’ve got a young daughter and a baby on the way, so stability is a massive thing.
‘A longer-term deal at Coventry means we can settle in the area and try to kick on.’
– NEIL ALLEN