Striking days are over but Talbot’s attacking instincts strong for Pompey

New Pompey right-back Drew Talbot Picture: Colin Farmery
New Pompey right-back Drew Talbot Picture: Colin Farmery
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Drew Talbot has dropped further back on the pitch, while this month heralds his 30th birthday, but there has been one constant in his footballing career – those attacking instincts.

There was a time when he was employed as a striker, a rich promise which saw him recruited from Sheffield Wednesday by Luton for £250,000.

I probably attack too much! I go when I can and just have to pick the right time when I do

Drew Talbot

In the 2009-10 campaign at Chesterfield, he finished as the second-highest scorer with 10 goals from 35 appearances.

Yet it was with the Spireites where boss John Sheridan converted Talbot to a right-back.

That unfamiliar position has now become a comfortable fit for the 29-year-old, who will start the coming season as Pompey’s right-sided full-back.

And while he has adapted and adjusted, Talbot’s willingness to make forward runs has never diminished.

He said: ‘I came through the ranks as a striker at Sheffield Wednesday.

‘Well, actually, I was a bit of a wide man, but because I was quick they used to push me up front to give the centre-halves a bit of a torrid time.

‘Then at Chesterfield we played away at Lincoln and the central defender was injured so the right-back moved across to cover – and I dropped in at right-back from the wing.

‘At the time I wasn’t best pleased about it. Still, I had to fill in until the central defender got back fit and then the right-back didn’t return to the team because I was playing so well!

‘Ever since I have stuck to it and I enjoy it.

‘I’ve had to work on my defending and got better and more wise at that but, basically, I remain a player who continues to like getting up and down.

‘I probably attack too much! I go when I can and just have to pick the right time when I do.

‘Today’s full-back is not necessarily a full-back, especially in certain formations when it involves a lot of out balls.

‘We saw at the Euros that England full-backs have more of the ball. You are not so much a defender any more, rather an outlet ball, you have to be good at football and fit and that is what pre-season is for.

‘You have to be that fit to be able to do both sides of the game – defend and counter-attack.

‘My plan is to go up and down the flank for Portsmouth and hopefully get a couple of goals.’

Paul Cook sides are characterised by attacking full-backs, as the Fratton faithful witnessed last term.

Only Kyle Bennett weighed in with more assists than Ben Davies and Enda Stevens as the Blues reached the League Two play-off semi-finals.

Of course, Talbot previously played under Cook at Chesterfield – and he is galloping across familiar ground.

He added: ‘I think with the players we have here I can help with attacks.

‘At Chesterfield I loved playing with Gary Roberts, I would put the ball down the channel into him.

‘I watched Portsmouth a couple of times last season and it reminded me of Chesterfield a little bit.

‘I’m versatile, if you can do the job in different positions and the gaffer needs you then why not. I am happy to play anywhere and will give it a go.’