'Judge me on those first 40 days': Portsmouth's promotion talisman is back - fit and raring to fire

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Callum Lang has told John Mousinho to judge him on his opening 40 days as a Pompey player - and not how he ended last season.

The Wigan capture made an instant impact in January, scoring on his debut after entering as a substitute at Oxford United and subsequently netting four times in his first seven outings.

It was precious momentum the Blues’ spluttering promotion push desperately required following a concerning Christmas period.

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However, the in-form Lang cruelly sustained ankle ligament damage against Blackpool in March, with some feeling Ollie Norburn’s challenge should have warranted a red card.

Although he returned for the final five matches, the 25-year-old couldn’t regain that scintillating earlier form, while failing to score.

Now he’s fully fit and raring to pick up where he left off before that Blackpool blow.

Lang told The News: ‘I’ve had this conversation with the gaffer as well. Before Blackpool was me, that is what I want to bring to the club and I know I can do that on a consistent basis.

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‘I want to go to the Championship and prove I can do that every week, I know I’m capable.

‘I wasn’t the same at the end of the season, rushing back from the injury, just wanting to help the team as much as possible. I would probably have taken a bit longer if the circumstances were different.

‘I have played with Ollie Norburn, I was with him at Shrewsbury when I was on loan there. He’s a good guy and I knew it was nothing intentional, it’s football, it was a bit of a nasty challenge.

‘That happens in the game and I’m quite aggressive on the pitch too, I like to play at a high tempo and sometimes those things just happen, so hopefully I get a bit more luck going into the new season.

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‘He knocked on the changing room door afterwards and apologised, it’s football, that’s how it is. I was just gutted because I was really enjoying myself.

‘You get into a spell where you feel really fit, you have momentum and confidence. When I returned against Bolton, I had only trained one or two days, other than that I had been in the gym.

‘It felt I had to restart again and get going. Sometimes it might take a few games to get fully going, but I’m enjoying my football here and looking forward to showing everyone what I can do again.’

Lang’s energy, work-rate and enthusiasm has been highly evident on the training pitch during the trip to Croatia.

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And he is convinced fans will see him back to his old self during the pre-season friendly schedule and beyond.

He added: ‘I did a good bit of work over the off-season and came back feeling really good and sharp.

‘One thing I can never doubt about myself is the work I put in. I will always give everything for the team and there’s no reason why I can’t start this season the way I started my spell here.’

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