Roberts ready to be star man

Conor Chaplin in first-half action against Charlton Picture: Joe Pepler

Pompey boss reveals reasons for Chaplin withdrawal

  • Roberts out to embrace expectancy of opening up sides
  • Attacking talent seals three-year deal for five-figure fee
  • Former Chesterfield believes he’s earned contract
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GARY ROBERTS promised he can handle the expectation of being a marquee signing at Pompey.

Roberts today sealed his long-awaited move to Fratton Park on a three-year deal for an undisclosed five-figure fee.

Gary Roberts in action for Chesterfield last season Picture: James Williamson

Gary Roberts in action for Chesterfield last season Picture: James Williamson

The 31-year-old linked up with Paul Cook once again after arriving from Chesterfield.

The attacking talent was delighted to finally see the move through to a conclusion.

Roberts knows he will have the weight of expectation on his shoulders, after a hugely-impressive record of success in the lower leagues.

But being the man who fans will look towards to open up sides is a responsibility he is ready to embrace.

I want to be the star man in every game. I want to be the main actor, the leader.

Gary Roberts

Roberts said: ‘This is the club for me.

‘I wanted to play for Paul Cook and I wanted to play for Portsmouth.

‘This is my last chance to play for a big club on the up.

‘I want to be at the centre of what is going to happen here.

‘I want to win things and be involved in successful teams.

‘I want to be on the pitch holding trophies at the end of the season. Those are memories you have when you retire.

‘I wanted to be involved in successful sides.

‘They said I was a marquee signing at Chesterfield and we produced.

‘Listen, I can’t wait to get on the pitch and produce.

‘When you’re a kid you want to play in front of big crowds and be the star man.

‘I want to be the star man in every game. I want to be the main actor, the leader. There’s no hiding from that. I won’t shirk that responsibility.

‘I want the ball and I will try to entertain as much as I can. I will never ever hide - I promise that.’

Much has been made of Roberts being handed a three-year deal at the age of 31.

But he explained clubs were lining up to match that length of contract – and expects to play on for a long time yet.

‘There were three or four three-year contracts on the table,’ admitted Roberts.

‘I’ve only ever signed big contracts. I signed three years last time, and signed two four-year contracts.

‘People say it’s a big contract at this level and me at 31. I can’t get my head around it.

‘Maybe if I was 37 and had a bad season a few eyebrows get raised. I’m 31 and got loads of goals and assists in the past couple of years.

‘But the club have backed the manager and three years is a good contract.

‘I’m fit and well and ready to play on for a long time.

‘I think I’ve earned the contract and am ready to play on for a long time.’