Reinvented Kitson has very different goals

113878-0823_PALACE_POMPEY_SR_1/11/11'Palace vs Pompey at Selhurst Park.'Dave Kitson.'''Picture:Steve Reid 113878-0823
113878-0823_PALACE_POMPEY_SR_1/11/11'Palace vs Pompey at Selhurst Park.'Dave Kitson.'''Picture:Steve Reid 113878-0823
Jack Whatmough. Picture: Joe Pepler

Pompey youngster earns Thompson praise

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By Dave Kitson’s own admission, his time as a prolific goalscorer is over.

Instead, it is a very different player who currently leads Pompey’s front line.

And the 31-year-old is adamant he can be just as effective.

Remodelled and reinvented, the striker who plundered 107 goals in 270 games while at Reading and Cambridge is no more.

Kitson believes his game has adapted beyond that.

These days, he sees himself as a link-up player, lending a hand to the midfield, as well as providing the ammunition for a strike partner.

It is a deeper-lying role that was only too apparent during Saturday’s 3-0 victory over Nottingham Forest.

The former Stoke man was outstanding then, producing a hard-working display across the pitch.

Of course, he weighed in with a goal in the process – his third in 12 games this season.

And Kitson insists he is revelling in his new-found job.

He said: ‘I think the days when I am expected to be the striker to score all the teams’ goals are over.

‘That’s done and this is a new player, a new incarnation of me as a player, striker, midfielder, whatever you want to call it.

‘My role now is to help the midfield out more, create more chances, and if I get into double figures that’s a good season.

‘I like that role. There are some strikers that are very good at what they do and they find they can stand on the shoulder and wait and wait and wait all game for that one chance. That is their job and that’s fine.

‘I just get bored and I just want to get involved.

‘I don’t mind if it is tackling, heading or running or doing whatever, I just like to feel I can help out.

‘I’m getting on now. I don’t mind if that comes at the expense of scoring 15-20 goals.

‘It used to as a young man but it doesn’t bother me any more.

‘I’m sure it will bother other people, but I think it gets to the point where you don’t have anything to prove any more in terms of what you’ve done in the game.

‘My record speaks for itself. It’s there if you want to Google it and look at it.’

Kitson has largely struggled to win over the Pompey fans since arriving in August 2010.

His cause wasn’t helped, though, by former manager Steve Cotterill’s frequent employment of a lone central striker – a system which hasn’t brought the best out of a forward who has traditionally flourished alongside a strike partner.

Now Kitson has that role, establishing an encouraging double act with Luke Varney.

To date, a player so prolific earlier in his playing career, has managed 11 goals in 49 Pompey games.

Not that he is too concerned in adding goals to his current displays.

He added: ‘My aim is to win games, it’s as simple as that.

‘I don’t care if I don’t score.

‘The days where I have to score and the pressure is on me to score are over, which is okay, it doesn’t really bother me.

‘We’ve got other players in the team that can score as you can see.

‘You’ve seen that with Luke, with Erik (Huseklepp), Hayden (Mullins) hit the post on Saturday, we have got goals all over the place.

‘And I’m enjoying what I’m doing and it seems to be working.’