Christian Burgess relishing latest tough challenge in battle for Portsmouth place

Christian Burgess proudly reflects on emphatically proving his point last season.

Friday, 19th July 2019, 12:00 pm
Christian Burgess signs autographs ahead of Pompey's 2-1 friendly victory over the Hawks. Picture: Dave Haines/Portsmouth News

Yet, as the popular defender is keen to stress, time has marched on – fresh beginnings for all.

The arrivals of centre-halves Paul Downing and Sean Raggett, plus the departure of Matt Clarke, have invigorated Kenny Jackett’s options.

A rejuvenated Burgess last term seized the initiative provided by Jack Whatmough’s injury to produce an impressive second half to the campaign

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That accomplishment is in the past, however, a new challenge faces the 27-year-old.

And once again he must battle for a Pompey first-team spot.

Burgess said: ‘That was definitely the best I had played in League One, but that season has gone now, everything is in the future.

‘I am looking forward to the season, looking ahead and trying to make one of those spots mine. We’ll see how that pans out during the course of pre-season and, by the time Shrewsbury comes, we should know.

‘I was pleased how I came back (last season), obviously you have a slight point to prove, but I always believed I’m capable of playing at that level.

‘The second half of last season was very positive for me, but that’s all in the past now, I won’t really remember that come the first game of the season, so it’s about what I can do moving forward.

‘You start from scratch every season, new players come in and it changes. Every season is a fresh start and it’s good to have that challenge.

‘I wouldn’t say I have a point to prove at the moment. I can say that about me last season, but not now, now is more a time for doing as well as I can.’

From the opening two Pompey first-team friendlies, Downing and Raggett appear to be Jackett’s centre-half choices.

Next the Blues travel to Stevenage on Saturday for their latest fixture.

Burgess added: ‘Recruiting two centre-halves was always bound to happen.

‘Matt was obviously being sought-after and, with Jack’s injury as well, you needed two to replace those.

‘You always require at least three centre-halves, that’s just normal.’