Blackburn defender Hayden Carter reveals where his future lies as Portsmouth pursue deal to bring him back to Fratton Park

Hayden Carter has set his sights on Championship football next season – but remains open to a Fratton Park return.

Monday, 2nd May 2022, 1:00 pm

The 22-year-old is back at Blackburn after an outstanding Pompey loan spell, having arrived in the January transfer window.

The versatile defender featured 22 times and scored once as he swiftly established himself in a Danny Cowley side which finished the League One campaign strongly, albeit ending in 10th spot.

Carter won’t rule out such an outcome – yet is adamant his priority is the Championship following successive years in League One.

And, with an Ewood Park contract until the summer of 2024, he wants to achieve that with Blackburn.

He told The News: ‘Firstly, I’ll go back to Blackburn for pre-season as fit as I can ready for the season ahead and see what the manager thinks and what’s best for my career.

‘I wouldn’t say coming back to Pompey is not possible – and I wouldn't say it’s definitely going to happen.

Hayden Carter has enjoyed an impressive loan spell at Pompey, making 22 appearances and scoring once. Picture: Paul Thompson/ProSportsImages

‘You never know in football, if the option (of Pompey) came up and I feel that’s the best thing for my career in terms of playing games and developing then I would be open to it.

‘But, at the moment, it’s just a case of having a rest, going back to Blackburn as fit as possible and seeing what happens.

‘I’ve had a couple of loans now and played 13 times for Blackburn, so I feel what I need to be doing is playing for them.

‘I can't be loitering, sitting on the bench and playing the odd under-23s match because that’s not what football is about, football’s about playing games, winning games. I’m at that stage of my career where I need to be doing that.

‘I am definitely ready for the Championship. I’ve had two really good loan spells in League One and believe I have done really well – the next step in my career is to play regularly in the Championship.

‘It will be nine years in December at Blackburn, I first signed when aged 13/14 and have come all the way through. Now I am ready to step into their first-team in the Championship.

‘I signed a new deal in August, so hopefully can progress from that and get into the team in the Championship and play regularly.’

Carter drove back to his home outside Wigan immediately after attending Pompey’s End of Season Awards on Sunday night.

And this week he is booked in for a Zoom meeting with Cowley for feedback over how he has fared at Pompey – and potentially his future.

Carter added: ‘Pompey is a massive club. To have the privilege of playing at Fratton Park and having those great fans as home fans has been excellent, something I’m really proud of.

‘I’ve grown as a player, the expectancy of the fans has helped me improve as well, while I’ve been given the chance to show my versatility in different positions within a first-team.

‘I wish Pompey and everybody associated with them all the best. It’s a great club.’

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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