James Bolton's hard work starting to pay off at Portsmouth following summer arrival from Shrewsbury

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Lee Brown believes James Bolton’s hard work is starting to pay dividends at Pompey.

Prior to Saturday’s visit of Gillingham, the right-back has played a key role in the Blues’ past two League One victories.

Bolton provided the assists for the winning goals as Kenny Jackett’s troops overcame both Bolton and Doncaster.

The 25-year-old has also featured regularly from the outset following his return from an ankle injury and appears to be finding his feet at the club.

And fellow full-back Brown has credited the 25-year-old for the effort he has been putting in off the pitch following his injury setback, that also included a groin injury in pre-season.

Brown said: ‘He’s done well at Shrewsbury, that’s why he’s got the move here.

James Bolton

James Bolton

‘He had a tough injury in pre-season.

‘When you have an injury in pre-season it’s really hard to get back.

‘It’s hard to get back going again.

‘You lose a big chunk of fitness and the chunk of where everyone can build themselves up.

‘You’re able to do that in friendlies.

‘When you miss pre-season you have to do that in league games, which is a bit of a problem.

‘But he’s working very hard off the pitch.

‘He’s always in the gym trying to get up to where he needs to be, so credit to him.’

Brown had sympathy for Bolton after his early injury struggles following his move to PO4.

The former Bristol Rovers defender acknowledged it must have been hard for the summer arrival, who was keen to hit the ground running following Nathan Thompson’s exit at the end of last season.

Brown added: ‘It’s not nice, especially when you’re coming to a new club.

‘You want to hit the ground running, you want to impress everyone.

‘Not everyone knows you, so you want to impress.

‘Then you get an injury and it pulls the handbrake up a little bit.

‘He’s been working really hard off the pitch, fair play to him.’