Eoin Doyle’s Pompey best is still to come.
That is the message from Leam Richardson after the on-loan Preston striker turned in his finest Blues display so far against Blackpool.
The biggest compliment I can give Eoin Doyle is that his fitness and durability is top classLeam Richardson
Doyle registered a maiden Pompey goal in the 2-0 triumph, yet his outstanding work ethic and fitness was just as memorable.
Following three outings, Richardson is convinced the Irishman is beginning to demonstrate the talent which has made him a prolific lower-division scorer.
Paul Cook’s side head to Barnet tomorrow seeking a third victory in a row.
And the Blues’ assistant manager is anticipating plenty more from their striking recruit.
Richardson said: ‘All strikers want to score and Tuesday night will do Eoin the world of good.
‘He now has his first goal for the club and fingers crossed he can get more this weekend.
‘He is improving, building up relationships. All of a sudden he knows Kyle Bennett’s strengths, is aware of Enda Stevens’ strengths, while played with Gary Roberts before and you can see they link up quite well.
‘He’s even onto the back four’s clearances. It’s just about getting to know players and relationships around the pitch.
‘The biggest compliment I can give Eoin Doyle is that his fitness and durability is top class.
‘At Chesterfield he would play as a lone striker for around 80 minutes and then, if anything happened, would move to the right-hand side and go box-to-box. You’d think “how has he done that?”
‘Obviously, his goalscoring record is there to be seen, but he also has fitness, energy, durability and a willingness to work.
‘Before the game the other day he was telling the lads “every time you can, just put it in. If I am not there then you can have a go at me, but put it in and I’ll get after it and stretch the game”.
‘Fair play – he is actually asking to work hard!’
Richardson first encountered Doyle during their Chesterfield days together.
As Cook’s right-hand man, he saw the striker fire the Spireites to the League Two title as well as reach Wembley in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy.
Doyle maintained his scoring streak in League One, earning a switch to Cardiff in a deal reportedly worth around £1m.
Now the 28-year-old is back working with Cook – and Richardson insists the striker has swiftly fitted back in.
He added: ‘The gaffer has worked with him twice, so Eoin has picked up our tactical play and shape straight away.
‘We did our shape ahead of the Wycombe game and he got it instantly.
‘All of a sudden, Gary Roberts and Kyle Bennett are playing better, there is more space, he has stretched the game that well and those players can capitalise.’