Matt Tubbs’ Pompey departure: Comment

Matt Tubbs at the EA Sports Fifa 16 hub at Fratton Park on Saturday Picture: Joe Pepler
Matt Tubbs at the EA Sports Fifa 16 hub at Fratton Park on Saturday Picture: Joe Pepler
Jamal Lowe in action against Chelsea under-21s. Picture: Joe Pepler

Pompey attacking talent searching for consistency

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Matt Tubbs’ goals helped steer Pompey clear of the pull of the relegation scrap to remain in the Football League.

Now, nine months later, he departs a club instilled with considerably loftier ambitions.

Matt Tubbs on his way to a hat-trick against Cambridge last season Picture: Joe Pepler

Matt Tubbs on his way to a hat-trick against Cambridge last season Picture: Joe Pepler

While the progressive Pompey continue to drive forward, they have left behind the prolific 31-year-old.

Today’s loan move to Eastleigh for the remainder of the season was long-anticipated.

Stewart Donald’s club have realistic aspirations of reaching League Two. Tubbs is a natural fit.

He arrived at Fratton Park in January 2015 with much expectancy and, unlike so many recruits in recent times, didn’t disappoint.

During Tubbs’ early days with the Blues, they dropped as low as 18th in League Two under Andy Awford.

Yet once opening his account against Hartlepool upon his fifth appearance, there was never any danger of Pompey being dragged into non-league football.

Tubbs went on to score nine goals in 23 appearances – in the process establishing a decent strike partnership with Ryan Taylor.

There was the hat-trick at Cambridge United in February 2015, a team he flourishes against.

He also netted in wins over Hartlepool, Luton and Mansfield in addition to three draws. By the season’s end, his goals had contributed to 15 points.

Regardless, the club closed the campaign in 16th – its lowest finish in a 95-year Football League existence.

Yet League Two’s golden boot winner would soon endure a frustrating time.

Paul Cook arrived in May armed with a new system involving one striker in attack.

Despite starting the opening four league matches at the head of a 4-2-3-1 formation, the ongoing concern was Tubbs was not a natural in the role.

Jayden Stockley and Adam McGurk were soon catapulted above him, before both were struck down by injury.

Tubbs returned and netted in wins over Cambridge and Newport – yet failed to make a Blues squad since October 31.

Ironically, Cook has returned to a 4-4-2 in the last two matches, with Tubbs still rigidly out-of-favour.

On Saturday he instead played Fifa Soccer with young fans at Fratton Park, continuing to fulfil club duties.

Now, after 40 games and 14 goals, he has answered the SOS call from another club.

And we all know he will not let them down.