Naylor: No pressure on Portsmouth goalscoring – I do other things

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Tom Naylor has clambered upon the goal trail.

But the midfielder acknowledges other aspects of his game take precedence on the Pompey battlefield.

Tom Naylor, left, celebrates his maiden Pompey goal after 15 appearances. Picture: Joe Pepler

Tom Naylor, left, celebrates his maiden Pompey goal after 15 appearances. Picture: Joe Pepler

Naylor headed home the Blues’ opener in Saturday’s 2-1 victory at AFC Wimbledon.

It represented his maiden goal for the club – and first in 10-and-a-half months.

The combative performer netted four times for Burton last season, totalling 18 in a 255-game career which, at stages, has taken him outside the Football League.

Pinpointing a Pompey goal target would be the next step of progression, but Naylor is adamant his focus remains fixed on excelling in other areas for the table-toppers.

He said: ‘I am over the moon with my first goal.

‘I have scored the odd goal, I got a few last season, but I am more of a defensive player.

‘I break play up, try to get my body in line with the ball, and just graft, so if I get more goals under my belt then that’s an extra bonus for me.

‘I’m not putting myself under any pressure to get more, I do other things for the team. That’s my job.

‘Still, a lot of lads here have scored goals this season and it’s always nice to chip in now and again, while getting off the mark for the club.

‘Hopefully I can chip in with a few more along the season.

‘Previous goals have been the same as Saturday, never from distance. I don’t think I’ve scored from outside the box.

‘But a goal’s a goal. I’m going to try to shoot more.’

The Kingsmeadow victory marked Naylor’s maiden Blues goal after 15 appearances.

Had it not been for the intervention of the Wombles’ Joe McDonnell, the 27-year-old may even have grabbed a first-half hat-trick.

Firstly, the keeper kept out Naylor’s far-post header from Dion Donohue’s right-wing corner with his feet.

Then, with Pompey 2-0 up, McDonnell produced a flying save to acrobatically tip out Naylor’s blistering right-footed shot from outside the box.

As a result, the summer recruit had to settle for one entry on the scoresheet as Pompey made it a club Football League record of eight away matches unbeaten from the season’s start.

Naylor added: ‘I really should have scored with the first shot, but it was a great save, then I took my chance with the second.

‘It was funny, I headed it and there was a defender running back who tried to get a block on the line. I was a bit confused whether it had gone in and looked at the linesman – and he didn’t really do anything!

‘Then the ref went off and all the lads came around me. I’m just glad it went it.

‘After that there was another opportunity when I thought I’d get it out from under my feet and let fly, let’s see where it’s going.

‘But it was a great save from the keeper again.’

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