Confidence is a preference for Atangana

Nigel Atangana Picture: Joe Pepler
Nigel Atangana Picture: Joe Pepler
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Nigel Atangana believes Pompey fans will see the best of him as he grows in confidence.

The Frenchman has made a promising start to his Blues career after joining from Conference South neighbours the Hawks last summer.

But the midfielder feels he has only reached around 70 per cent of his potential so far and has set his sights on more as he continues to establish himself at Fratton Park.

Atangana said: ‘I think it’s not the real Nigel yet, like the way I played at Havant.

‘I’m maybe at 70 per cent and I need to be more confident.

‘I’m not 100-per-cent confident at the moment. So I need to be more confident and take more chances.

‘If I am more confident, my level will improve as well.

‘I think I started well and then after my injury it was difficult to get back into the team.

‘Then I trained hard and now, hopefully, I am back and will try to stay in the team.

‘After injury, you need to play three or four games but I have played more and more so it’s good for me.’

It’s been a tough introduction to the Football League for the 25-year-old amid Pompey’s frustrating campaign.

But Atangana insists Pompey fans will see a different team – if they can register that elusive victory over Southend United this weekend.

He said: ‘The situation is difficult for the club. If we get the three points, we will all be a lot more confident.

‘I think we just need the one win, we need the three points and it starts this weekend.

‘We played very well last week, and if it was 2-0 or 3-0 at half-time we deserved that.

‘We passed the ball a lot in the first half and then in the second half we sat back more.

‘We need to keep believing and keep playing but we stopped doing that in the second half against Burton.

‘Southend are a strong team but if we keep the ball and pass the ball, we can give them a problem.’

Atangana was given licence to push forward last weekend in a central midfield combination, with partner James Dunne given more defensive duties.

And the former Hawks man believes that brings out the best in his abilities.

‘I am more confident behind the striker because I get a lot of touches of the ball,’ said Atangana.

‘But I don’t have any problem if I have to play on the left, right or in the middle.

‘I am a football player and I will play anywhere.

‘I can play attacking or defensive but I think I can help the team if I am playing more forward.’

Meanwhile, the summer signing admits he has been surprised by the backing from Blues fans this term.

He added: ‘I would like to transmit a message to the fans and it’s a massive “thank you” for the support, even through hard times.

‘They are tough times at the moment but they are there every week home and away. I had never watched a game at Fratton Park before I signed here – just on the TV.

‘But it was a good surprise for me.’