Tom Naylor out to stay on goal trail as Portsmouth rediscover set-piece threat
Tom Naylor has demanded Pompey continue their renewed set-piece threat as he targeted staying on the goal trail.
The Blues midfielder got off the mark for the season with a strike in Saturday’s 2-0 win over Tranmere.
Naylor was also denied a wonder volley moments before Ben Close grabbed a long-range beauty of his own at Fratton Park.
The 28-year’s maiden finish for the campaign came from a second-half corner and follows on from him contributing to Ellis Harrison’s header from a similar set-piece against Birmingham last week.
That’s particularly satisfying after Pompey failed to make nearly enough of clocking up 10 corners in the opening-day loss at Shrewsbury.
Producing enough threat is a theme manager Kenny Jackett often returned to last season, and it’s a point he’s picking on again with his players.
Naylor feels he can threaten there – and isn’t ruling out joining Close on the wonder-goal trail.
The midfielder said: ‘Before Ben’s goal I had a volley and I thought it was in.
‘It was one where I thought I can give it to the winger or have a go, it’ll go over the bar and everyone will laugh.
‘I caught it as sweet as you like, though, and it was going in. It was in and a good save from the keeper.
‘If that had gone in I’d have walked off the pitch and gone home! Hopefully, the next one goes in.
‘The gaffer stresses a lot we need to take advantage of corners.
‘We got one (a goal) on Tuesday and Saturday (from corners) so that’s a bonus.
‘We’ve got a lot of tall people. There’s me, Paul Downing, Chrtistian Burgess, Raggs (Raggett) and Ross (McCrorie) on the bench at the moment. So there’s a good mix.’
In a competitive battle to start in midfield Naylor has started all of Pompey’s games so far, following on from 53 appearances last term which was a career high.
The midfielder is out for a similar return this time around.
Naylor added: ‘I want to play every game. Even if I have a knock I’ll get on with and hopefully the gaffer sees that.
‘Last season I made over 50 appearances. It’s the most I’ve had in my career.
‘Hopefully I can do something similar this season as well. I want to play every game.’