Striker turns injury fears to cheers

Patrick Agyemang salutes the fans after his goal against Wycombe Picture: Joe Pepler
Patrick Agyemang salutes the fans after his goal against Wycombe Picture: Joe Pepler

Patrick Agyemang feared his Pompey comeback would end in more injury woe.

The striker celebrated his return to the first-team picture with a goal six minutes after coming off the bench against Wycombe on Wednesday night.

The 33-year-old headed his fifth goal of the season, which looked to be the winner, until the Chairboys’ stoppage-time equaliser.

That marked his return from a thigh problem which has been troubling the Blues talisman in recent weeks.

Agyemang aggravated that injury last month in the 4-0 drubbing at AFC Wimbledon.

The front man, whose name was chanted by Pompey fans before his second-half introduction on Wednesday night, admitted he harboured doubts about whether he was ready to return.

He was relieved to come through the game unscathed and build his fitness for next weekend’s meeting with Newport County.

Agyemang said: ‘It’s good to be back.

‘It’s nice to have the crowd chanting my name.

‘They are good to me.

‘I was a little bit worried that I may have rushed back but it felt good to be back out there.

‘It’s a positive for me.

‘I had a thigh injury, then started to feel my hamstring a bit where I was concentrating on one muscle and neglecting the others.

‘I hadn’t really done any running at all for the three weeks I was out.

‘Then I came straight back into striding out, felt it a little bit and it was tight.

‘To be honest, I wasn’t 100-per-cent sure that I was ready.’

Agyemang looked on for much of Wednesday’s game as Pompey produced two vastly contrasting halves of football.

Pompey weren’t at the races for the majority of the first 45 minutes and carved out little in the way of clear-cut opportunities.

But it was a different story after the break, when David Connolly and Agyemang were introduced and the Blues created a host of chances to pull themselves back into the game.

The majority of the 14,942 crowd made their feelings known they weren’t happy with what they saw from their team in the first 45 minutes.

And caretaker boss Andy Awford echoed that sentiment as he read the players the riot act at the break.

Agyemang said: ‘Awfs was happy with the improvement in the second half.

‘But he wasn’t pleased at half-time and told us that.

‘The crowd weren’t happy in the first half but things got better.

‘We were creating chances, got a penalty and kept them penned in their own half.

‘It was much better stuff but it’s no good just doing it in spells of the game.’

Agyemang has previously made it clear the appreciation of the Pompey fans has helped rejuvenate his career and confidence. That backing was again evident throughout the game on Wednesday.

He said: ‘I came on and was able to affect the game. I was fortunate enough to get a goal, too.

‘For me, I try to block that stuff out whether I’m playing well or not during the game.

‘But you can’t help but hear the fans call my name. It gave me a boost and helped me.’

– JORDAN CROSS