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.

Monday, 12th August 2019, 4:00 pm
Updated Monday, 12th August 2019, 4:00 pm
Tom Naylor scores his first goal of the season against Tranmere. Picture: Joe Pepler

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.

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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.’​​​​​​