Bird: It’s all guns blazing against Portsmouth

Former Pompey striker Ryan Bird is convinced Maidenhead will raise their game in the FA Cup. Picture: Joe Pepler
Former Pompey striker Ryan Bird is convinced Maidenhead will raise their game in the FA Cup. Picture: Joe Pepler
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Ryan Bird has vowed Maidenhead will barrage Pompey with ‘all guns blazing’ in pursuit of an FA Cup shock.

The National League strugglers have suffered six-successive league defeats, including recent hammerings inflicted by the Hawks (7-0) and AFC Fylde (6-0).

Yet former Blues man Bird and his Magpies team-mates host Kenny Jackett’s side on Saturday determined to register a first-round upset.

The towering striker gave up his job as an electrician to join Pompey from non-league Burnam in the summer of 2013 following a successful trial.

He subsequently netted five times in 25 appearances before released by Andy Awford in September 2014.

Maidenhead represent his seventh club since departing Fratton Park and the 30-year-old is desperate to line-up against his ex-employers.

He said: ‘York Road can generate a really good atmosphere, we regularly get 1,500-1,600 and they are quite loud.

‘Sometimes teams can underestimate who they playing against because it’s a non-league club, but’s it’s never that easy, no way.

‘I think we will give Portsmouth a really good game. We are not on a great run, but that could work in favour, it has got to turn around at some point.

'Sure, we’ve been on a bit of a bad run recently, but have nothing to lose on Saturday, so it will be all guns blazing.

‘Our players will definitely raise their game, 100 per cent. You are happy to get any League One club in the FA Cup – but we’ve got one of the biggest clubs in League One. That’s your motivation.

‘It inspires you to do well, especially with people watching on television, and that can only help raise your game.

‘I’m really looking forward to it. It’s a fantastic football club and this is the FA Cup.’

Recruited by Guy Whittingham in July 2013, Bird netted an equaliser at Torquay and scored twice in a 3-1 Fratton Park win over Exeter the following game.

However, he was sent on loan to Cambridge United by Richie Barker, before suffering a season-ending injury having been recalled by caretaker boss Awford.

He soon returned to the Abbey Stadium permanently and in March 2014 scored in a 4-0 FA Trophy final victory over Gosport.

Bird added: ‘I loved it there, I have no regrets at all.

‘I would have loved to have played a lot more, but I had come out of non-league and, if I am honest, probably wasn’t really good enough to be at a club like Portsmouth.

‘There were strikers like Patrick Agyemang and David Connolly there, but you can't turn down a move like that, I absolutely loved it.

‘I still look out for their results every week. It’s good to see them going in the right direction now, hopefully they’ll go up and be in the Championship.

‘I had a great time at Portsmouth in front of those fantastic fans – and got two goals in front of the Fratton end. I am so glad the club on their way up now.’