Roberts: I want to be part of Pompey journey

Gary Roberts. Picture: Joe Pepler
Gary Roberts. Picture: Joe Pepler
Brandon Haunstrup in action against Bury. Picture: Joe Pepler

Local lad after Pompey starting role for keeps

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GARY ROBERTS underlined his desire to be part of Pompey’s League One adventure.

But the Blues’ creative attacking midfielder admitted he may have to adapt his game moving forward.

Roberts is keen to stay put at Fratton Park and has a year left of his existing agreement.

The 33-year-old is content with life under Paul Cook after a season for the club to savour.

Roberts was used increasingly off the bench as the campaign wore on, however.

A total of 10 of his 42 appearances came as a substitute.

The former Ipswich and Huddersfield explained that wasn’t something he was used to – and it was tough to take.

He is coming to terms with that, however, and is keen to continue having an impact for his side next term.

Roberts said: ‘It’s hard to accept being on the bench when you’ve played every game in your career.

‘I’ve probably had less than 10 per cent of my career on the bench.

‘It’s hard to accept sometimes. It’s hard to take.

‘Listen, if you come into work every day and that happens you shouldn’t be happy.

‘Any player who’s happy to be on the bench shouldn’t be playing the game. They shouldn’t be in the game.

‘You just have to go about it in the right way. I’m learning that at the minute. I’m trying to learn that!

‘When you have the dips, I’ve never found it harder than playing for this club really.

‘I’ve got a deal to next summer. I still feel I have something to offer.

‘I’ll have to see what happens over the next couple of months.

‘I want to be a part of getting this club out of League One next season. If I could do that it’d be great.

‘We’ll have to see what happens. If I can be a part of it – great.’

After bagging 10 goals and producing a similar number of assists, Roberts is comfortable which his contribution to his side this season.

He feels his game will be better suited to League One, however, after Pompey’s title win, however.

And another promotion bid is something he’ll savour as he edges towards the latter stages of his career.

Roberts said: ‘I’d love to be around and play a role in getting this club from League One to the Championship.

‘I’d prefer to play in League One, to be honest. It’s a better league with better players.

‘In League Two it feels like you’ve got to grind through it – and we’ve done that.

‘Hopefully, there’s more football played in League One.

‘You can’t hide your age, though.

‘I think you appreciate it a little bit more.

‘There’s not going to be many of these kind of seasons we’ve had left in my career.

‘I’ll leave the veteran status to others for the moment, though!’