Midfielder revelling in Pompey presence

Stuart O'Keefe. Picture: Joe Pepler
Stuart O'Keefe. Picture: Joe Pepler
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Stuart O’Keefe’s patience has delivered – now he’s striving to seal a long-term future.

Kenny Jackett finally secured the midfielder’s signature on deadline day following a month’s pursuit.

It was close then, so for Neil Warnock to come up and say to me I was playing against Portsmouth was a no-win situation for me.

Stuart O’Keefe

Surplus to requirements under Cardiff City boss Neil Warnock, the 26-year-old’s proposed Fratton Park move faltered following injury to Tareiq Holmes-Dennis.

The new-found necessity of identifying a left-back meant putting O’Keefe on hold.

Still, joining the Blues was always the ex-Crystal Palace man’s goal and finally he got his move.

Now he’s seeking to produce the level of performances required to kickstart his career.

O’Keefe said: ‘I have a whole year here, so I just need to crack on and do everything I can for Portsmouth. Whatever happens next summer for Cardiff will happen.

‘I heard about a move to Portsmouth a little while ago and it came close, then it didn’t.

‘An injury to the left-back stalled things a little bit because that was a priority but we got there in the end.

‘I’m pleased to be here, I wanted to come here as a first pick anyway so to get over the line on deadline day was perfect and we crack on now.

‘Playing against them in the Carabao Cup was always difficult.

‘It was close then, so for Neil Warnock to come up and say to me I was playing against Portsmouth was a no-win situation.

‘But you do what you’ve got to do, you’re a footballer, paid to play, so you get on with it.

‘There were a few sniffs here and there but Portsmouth were the ones that had real backing behind it and the one I wanted to get over the line with the size of the club and fanbase.

‘I want to be playing, I want to do the best I can for myself and the club – and hopefully get it up a level.’

O’Keefe spent the second half of last season on loan at MK Dons as he sought regular first-team football.

It was a League One spell which produced 18 appearances and four goals, impressing supporters in the process.

And following an encouraging Pompey debut against Rotherham, he intends to maintain his loan impact.

O’Keefe added: ‘I have another year left at Cardiff.

‘Depending on the manager, the situation and circumstances, that will take care of itself.

‘Although I am not really worried about that situation at the moment.

‘I will always give everything for my team, that’s the way I am. I am new to the building and hopefully have a lot more to offer.

‘I enjoyed my time at MK, they were really, really good to me actually.

‘It was at a difficult time, I had not played much for Cardiff, Warnock came in and said I wasn’t going to have a future.

‘But I went there in January, played a lot of football and enjoyed myself again.’