James Bolton over early Portsmouth injury woes and ready to kick-start Fratton Park career

James Bolton is ready to kick-start his Pompey career after flying through his injury return.

Wednesday, 31st July 2019, 7:00 am
Updated Wednesday, 31st July 2019, 7:05 am
James Bolton. Picture: Habibur Rahman

The right-back made his comeback from a groin setback in last night’s 4-2 pre-season victory at Woking.

Bolton hadn’t featured since the opening summer friendly at UCD but played 90 minutes at the Kingfield Stadium.

He delivered an encouraging display against the National League side, engineering Oli Hawkins’ first of his double with a dangerous cross.

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Brett Pitman also notched a brace.

It's been a frustrating opening to Bolton’s Blues career after arriving on a free transfer from Shrewsbury in June.

But he believes his injury woes are behind him.

And Bolton insists he'd be ready to feature in Saturday’s League One curtain-raiser against his former club if required.

He said: ‘I did my injury against UCD and tried to play through it.

‘I was only down to play 45 minutes so I thought I’d see it out until half-time and go from there.

‘It was in the last five minutes when I felt it. I tried to run it off but probably made it worse.

‘It was my first game for a new club. It wasn’t ideal but I’ve tried to stay as positive as I can and managed to get some minutes last night.

‘It’s football, you pick up injuries and just have to go again.

‘I got told yesterday they were going to push me to play 90 minutes. As long as my groin held up, I was happy to do so.

‘I was a little bit tired, to be honest, but 90 minutes are in the legs now and I'm happy.

‘If I’m asked to play on Saturday then 100 per cent I’d give everything. Whether it happens I don’t know.

‘It’s up to the gaffer but I’d love to play in that game.’

Bolton conceded he’s playing catch up for fitness with the rest of his Pompey team-mates.

But his extra work with the Blues’ physios have ensured he hasn’t slipped too far behind.

The ex-Gateshead defender added: ‘You're always thinking “I haven’t done a 90 minutes” but now it’s done.

‘I do 100 per cent (feel I’m playing catch up) but you always stay as fit as you possibly can. I’ve constantly been asking the physio to do a little bit more.

‘I haven’t wanted to fall behind and lose fitness so I've done what I can and stayed relatively fit.

‘It’s a testament I played 90 minutes having only trained a couple of days so I’m pleased.’