Stevens: Pompey promotion is priority '“ not my contract
ENDA STEVENS is adamant his focus is fixed on winning promotion rather than his Pompey future.
Yet the left-back is keen to remain at Fratton Park beyond his contract’s summer expiry.
Stevens has emphatically proven to be one of Cook’s best signings since joining from Aston Villa in June 2015.
The Dubliner has made 68 appearances, delivering his impressive brand of attacking football from full-back.
Settled in Whiteley with his partner, he is continuing to relish his time on the south coast.
However, Stevens is under no illusions of the necessity to win promotion from League Two following last season’s near miss.
And he insists fifth-placed Pompey’s progress is occupying his attention rather than his own well-being.
He said: ‘I am not looking at my contract situation, I’m just thinking about winning the league.
‘It’s our priority to win promotion, if we don’t do that at this club then it is a failure. That is our main aim.
‘You hope your future is going to be here – but the time to look at that is when you are promoted.
‘It’s not a nice feeling to be in the last year of your contract but that’s football these days, I just want to focus on my performances on the pitch and hopefully that will be rewarded at the end of the season with promotion.
‘At the end of the day, it is up to the player to get a new contract, if the player does well he earns a new deal and that is what I aim to do.
‘There will probably be a point where I ask about a new contract, but I don’t believe that time is yet.
‘I’m settled, I enjoy it down here, I’m enjoying my football and it’s a great club. I just want to get success.’
No player bettered Stevens’ 53 Pompey appearances last season.
This term he has featured 15 times, having started 61 of Paul Cook’s 63 league and play-off matches as boss.
Having been sent on loan spells to Notts County, Doncaster Rovers and Northampton while at Villa, finally the 26-year-old is settled.
He remains a popular member of the Pompey squad and a regular among the post-training coffee group which gathers at various places locally.
And it is that team spirit which has helped him feel part of the Pompey family.
He added: ‘We have a great bunch of lads who get on really well, it’s a tight-knit dressing room.
‘Everyone is in the same boat. Portsmouth is so far south that we are all away from our families, so we see a lot of each other and have that bond off the training pitch.
‘We go from coffee shop to coffee shop from time-to-time to change the scenario, having a good chat and enjoying being around each other.
‘My missus loves it down here and we want to stay – but we need to get this club back to where it should be.’