No regrets for fans’ favourite

Liam Lawrence feels at home at Pompey
Liam Lawrence feels at home at Pompey
A dejected Christian Burgess after Rotherham's late winner against Pompey. Picture: Joe Pepler

Burgess: Pompey loss at Rotherham a sickener

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Liam Lawrence cast an envious eye towards Wembley but insisted: I don’t regret my decision to join Pompey.

The Blues midfielder will see his old Stoke City team-mates stride out to take on Manchester City in the FA Cup final today, just 12 months after Pompey were there themselves facing Chelsea.

Lawrence and Dave Kitson both left Stoke in August as part of the deal which took Marc Wilson to the Britannia Stadium.

Wilson’s appearance today will make up for him missing out last year when injury ruled him out of the showpiece occasion.

But while Lawrence is hopeful his old pals can lift the trophy, he is not looking back and insists his mind is focused on Fratton Park.

He said: ‘It’s an amazing achievement for Stoke to get where they are.

‘I’ll be watching and cheering them on – bless them. It’s great for them.

‘At the time when I’m watching it and when I see the lads in the shirts, it will bring back memories but I don’t regret my decision to come here.

‘I’m glad I’m a Portsmouth player.’

Since his August arrival, Lawrence has become a popular figure with fans.

Even when he initially joined on loan and there were suggestions from conspiracy theorists the move would not become permanent, the 29-year-old made it clear he was in it for the long term.

And the Republic of Ireland star will continue to give his all after striking up a good rapport with supporters in his first season at the club.

Lawrence said: ‘When I’m on the pitch, I give everything I can and I think the fans see that.

‘Even when I’m having a bad game, I think, whoever is wearing the shirt, if they try then the fans will always stick behind you.

‘I just hope next season we can push on and do something good with the club because the fans will be amazing with us next year.

‘I just want to turn things around here because I think this is a Premier League club, as you can see from the fans every week.’

It’s certainly been a tough baptism for Lawrence.

But he’s now settled in the area with his family and is hoping for some major summer activity at the club to help Pompey push on next term.

He said: ‘I’m just glad this season is behind us.

‘But I’m already looking forward to next year and what’s going to happen.’