Ryan Williams' warning to Portsmouth team-mates after long-awaited comeback appearance

Ryan Williams reflected on his long-awaited Pompey comeback and vowed: I’m ready for a first-team place.

Monday, 16th September 2019, 7:00 am
Ryan Williams made his long-awaited return from injury on Saturday, marking his second Pompey debut. Picture: Joe Pepler

Williams replaced Leon Maloney for the remaining 19 minutes of the 3-1 win over Norwich under-21s, demonstrating his willingness to run at players and cross with either foot.

With Marcus Harness sidelined for at least another two matches, there remains a short-term vacancy on the right wing.

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Ronan Curtis has lacked competition on the left flank for too long, while Williams also possesses Championship experience as a number 10.

And, following his return after a troublesome hip flexor issue, the 25-year-old believes he now equipped to fight for a starting spot.

He said: ‘I am quite naturally fit, in terms of fitness I am up there with the boys, even without playing the games.

‘I have been doing my work and am physically fit, I’m sure I could start Tuesday against Burton no problem at all.

Ryan Williams made his long-awaited return from injury on Saturday, marking his second Pompey debut. Picture: Joe Pepler

‘Hopefully I will get a good chunk of minutes there.

‘Everything happens for a reason, Marcus is out injured, Gaz (Evans) has a little knock, so maybe it’s the perfect time for me to come back and help the team out.

‘When Marcus returns he will be pushing me and Ronan – and I will be pushing those two. It's good that the manager has given himself three wingers to choose from.

‘I am not going to shy away from my left foot, I can play on either the left or right wing.

‘Last season a lot of my games were as the number 10 as well, I can play there. For the national team I play on the left, here they see me on the right.

‘So I’m quite easily adaptable to all three positions behind the strikers – and looking to make my mark and get in ahead of the other boys.’

Saturday’s Leasing.com Trophy encounter also marked the injury comeback of Oli Hawkins.

With James Bolton and Sean Raggett increasing their match minutes following injury, Kenny Jackett’s options are beginning to increase.

Although Gareth Evans failed a pre-match fitness test on a dead leg sustained in training on Thursday.

Williams added: ‘We haven’t had the start we wanted but, hopefully, with us boys coming back (from injury) it gives everyone a boost, not only on pitch but in training and around the place.

‘Hopefully we can on a run soon and start to pick up some points. Three league games in two weeks is a great opportunity to put some points on the board in a short space of time.’