Pompey’s Pitman: Now’s not the time to down tools

Brett Pitman celebrates his 20th goal of the season, which came against Wigan on Monday. Picture: Joe Pepler
Brett Pitman celebrates his 20th goal of the season, which came against Wigan on Monday. Picture: Joe Pepler
Pompey chief executive Mark Catlin. Picture: Joe Pepler

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Brett Pitman savoured smashing the 20-goal barrier and vowed: I won’t stop there.

On Monday evening, the striker became the first Pompey player to achieve the feat since Svetoslav Todorov in 2002-03.

Svetoslav Todorov was the last man to hit the 20-goal barrier for Pompey, doing so in the 2002-03 season

Svetoslav Todorov was the last man to hit the 20-goal barrier for Pompey, doing so in the 2002-03 season

It also represented the second time in Pitman’s career he has reached the magical figure.

On that 2009-10 occasion, he struck 28 times for Bournemouth, then a League Two side.

The 30-year-old’s penalty in the Blues’ 2-1 victory over Wigan was his 20th goal in a campaign with six matches remaining.

In addition, there is the tantalising prospect of reaching the League One play-offs.

I don’t think I am ever going to outrun defenders, but with my movement and being clever you give yourself chances

Brett Pitman

And Pitman has no intention of slowing down his goal chase.

He said: ‘I’ve hit 20 goals in a season before, scoring is what I am paid to do.

‘Obviously it’s nice when it happens but at the end of the day that’s my job.

‘There are a lot of strikers in teams for different reasons.

‘In there to run around, in there to stretch sides, in there to win headers. If people do all that then they benefit the team in other ways, I guess.

‘But you need someone to score goals, that’s the long and short of it and luckily this season I have managed to score a few.

‘Just because you get 20, though, you don’t suddenly down tools and think “that’s enough for me”.

‘I want to get more. There are six league games remaining and I will be trying to score as many possible.

‘At the end of the day, that’s the main thing – to help the team win.

‘I didn’t set myself any targets this season.

‘I have never set targets, I just wanted to play and enjoy my football and see where we could take us.

‘Hopefully we can keep on this run and push up into those play-off places.’

Pitman’s previous best League One tally was 19 in the 2012-13 campaign for Bournemouth.

He also scored 17 for the Cherries (2008-09) and struck 13 for Championship side Bristol City in 2010-11.

The former Dean Court apprentice now has a career return of 157 goals in 487 matches.

In terms of Pompey, Todorov totalled 26 in the Division One promotion campaign of 2002-03 under Harry Redknapp.

All of the Bulgarian’s goals arrived in league action, with none coming in cup competitions.

Yet while Pitman maintains his prolific record, he believes there is more to his game than goals.

The 30-year-old added: ‘I would like to think there is more to my game.

‘There’s bringing other people into play, winning headers, being a nuisance for defenders, winning free-kicks, holding the ball up, so many different things.

‘I don’t think I am ever going to outrun defenders.

‘But with my movement and being clever, you give yourself chances.’