Craddock is fired up to earn starting-day role

Tom Craddock during his first day at Pompey pre-season training   Picture: Allan Hutchings
Tom Craddock during his first day at Pompey pre-season training Picture: Allan Hutchings

Tom Craddock has targeted an opening-day starting place against his old side.

Pompey will go up against Oxford United in their League Two curtain-raiser at Fratton Park.

That’s the side Craddock joined the Blues from earlier in the summer after being released by the Us.

And seeing that fixture come up has given the 26-year-old extra motivation to get into the starting XI for the game.

Craddock said: ‘I started laughing when I saw the fixture – and it was against my old club.

‘I went out for a run straight away when I saw it.

‘It gives me an extra incentive to get into the team straight away.

‘It’s my old team and my old team-mates and I’ll be motivated to get one over them. That’s football. It has a funny way of working out like that.

‘The main thing is we get a good result on the first day.

‘I’m sure we’ll have everyone behind us.

‘It’s going to be a great day and a great atmosphere and we’ll be going full steam at them.

‘You’re motivated to play anyway but, if it’s your old club, it goes without saying that you’ll be a little bit more motivated.’

Training began in earnest for Pompey yesterday after two days of testing last week.

Craddock was glad to see footballs and not hard-running on the agenda. He said: ‘Running tests are part and parcel of the game.

‘I’d rather have a football at my feet, like any footballer does, but you have to show a good attitude and get on with it.

‘It was good to get out there, though. It was a sunny day, as well.

‘I asked one of the lads if it’s like that all the time and they said “no”.

‘I’m from the north east and we don’t get many sunny days up there, so that was disappointing!’