Kennedy ‘surprised’ at Pompey omission – but determined to return

Matty Kennedy. Picture: Joe Pepler
Matty Kennedy. Picture: Joe Pepler
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Matty Kennedy admitted his surprise at his recent omission from Pompey’s line up.

And the determined left-winger is fully prepared for the first-team battle to reclaim his place.

It makes you want to try harder, but I don’t think I have anything to prove because I believe I’ve played well and don’t think there is any pressure on me to prove anything

Matty Kennedy

The Scot emerged from the substitutes’ bench after half-time to inspire the Blues to a 1-0 victory over Southend on Saturday.

It was a second successive League One fixture out of the starting line-up for Kennedy, who has impressed during his loan from Cardiff City.

Instead Kal Naismith has been preferred out wide, coinciding with consecutive victories.

Yet Kennedy staked his claim at the weekend by providing the cross for Brett Pitman to register his 12th goal of the season.

And he wants his spot back.

He said: ‘I think I’ve been on form so have been surprised not to play but you have got Kal who has been on form in training and working hard. He deserves a chance.

‘Obviously I’m surprised to be dropped but, at the same time, I can’t say anything because you’ve got Kal playing well, with Benno and Jamal Lowe on the other side.

‘We are all going to have our time in the team at some point because we are all good players.

‘I was a bit disappointed to get dropped at Blackpool and in training on Monday was a bit moody – but I got my head around it.

‘I realised if I wanted to get back into the team the main thing is the club and we need to win.

‘You have to get behind the boys, no matter if you are on the team, the bench or the stand. It’s all about the club.

‘It makes you want to try harder but I don’t think I have anything to prove because I believe I’ve played well.

‘I don’t think there is any pressure to prove anything.

‘I just need to keep doing what I am doing and will get minutes no matter what.

‘But me, Kal, Jamal and Benno will take turns playing.

‘You cannot say the four of us aren’t good players, we are all going to be taking our time on the bench at some point, that’s just the way it is.’

Kennedy has made 15 appearances since joining on loan on transfer deadline day.

He has swiftly proven a hit with the Fratton faithful, with many eager for a permanent arrangement.

And his entrance on Saturday helped bolster Pompey’s attacking capabilities as they clinched victory.

He added: ‘The manager basically said “you are going on, get the ball into the box and get narrow when defending”.

‘He’s told me what to do and I’ve done it – and we’ve scored.

‘It was a great header from Brett.

‘It’s practise we do week in, week out and it has started to pay off. We got a 1-0 victory.

‘The manager is always nagging me to get back and defend, defend and defend.

‘But I am happy he gives me the freedom to go forward.

‘If I do my job for him in the team defensively, he lets me do my job going forward so I’m pleased about that.’