Buxton backed for Pompey first-team challenge

Pompey defender Adam Buxton   Picture: Joe Pepler
Pompey defender Adam Buxton Picture: Joe Pepler
Brett Pitman missed a golden opportunity just after the restart against Charlton

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Adam Buxton has been backed to challenge for Pompey’s first-team.

And Ian Foster is convinced the ‘wonderfully talented’ full-back can still establish himself at Fratton Park.

Hopefully that will kickstart Adam into getting back into the manager’s thoughts in regards of the first-team

Ian Foster

Despite arriving on the eve of the season, Buxton continues to await his league debut for the Blues.

All four of his outings have arrived in cup competitions as he struggles to dislodge Gareth Evans from the right-back role.

The former Accrington man isn’t alone in his full-back frustration, Drew Talbot has suffered a similar fate as they find their path blocked by their makeshift defensive rival.

Yet Buxton is ahead of Talbot in the pecking order, as demonstrated by featuring in two Pompey squads over Christmas, while was among the 20 players which travelled to Doncaster.

On Tuesday afternoon, he lined-up at right-back in the reserves’ 6-2 victory at Exeter in the Central League Cup, scoring a free-kick in the process.

And Pompey’s first-team coach continues to be impressed by the versatile ex-Wigan trainee.

Foster said: ‘Adam’s had a stop-start time at Portsmouth, but his performance on Tuesday was very, very good.

‘He’s just had one or two injuries and it has been quite a shame because he is a wonderfully talented footballer.

‘Hopefully that will kickstart him into getting back into the manager’s thoughts in regards of the first-team.

‘The reserves is an opportunity to play and Adam did that, showing everyone he is doing well.

‘Defensively on one-v-one situations against Exeter he was excellent and in possession was superb.

‘He moved the ball quickly, was very positive in his play and linked really well with Jamal Lowe, particularly in the first half.

‘His goal was about 25 yards out, dead centre, bending it into the top corner to beat goalkeeper Bobby Olejnik.

‘I’m really pleased for him.’

Buxton played the full 90 minutes of Tuesday’s fixture at Exeter’s training ground, while Talbot served at left-back.

Both summer arrivals suffered injuries early in their Pompey careers, yet have been available for first-team selection since late October.

The pair featured as full-backs on opposite flanks in the 1-0 Checkatrade Trophy victory over Bristol Rovers on November 8.

Neither have since appeared for Pompey, with Talbot’s last involvement in a first-team squad occurring in mid-November.

Buxton, who remains well-regarded at Fratton Park, was a member of last season’s Accrington side which finished fourth in League Two.

He amassed 31 appearances for John Coleman’s men, who were keen to retain his services upon the expiry of his contract last summer.

However, Buxton elected to make the switch to Fratton Park on a 12-month deal, days before the season kicked-off.

Evans remains Paul Cook’s first-choice right-back, lining-up in Pompey’s last 20 League two fixtures.

Now Buxton is pushing for a recall for Saturday’s visit of Leyton Orient.