MATT TUBBS has set himself a secret goals target in a bid to pick up the League Two golden boot award.
Before today’s home showdown with Shrewsbury, the Blues striker had netted six times since his January arrival and is currently top of the division’s scoring charts with 18 this season.
Ahead of the latest round of fixtures, Northampton Town’s Marc Richards (17) and Plymouth’s Reuben Reid (15) are Tubbs’ closest challengers for the prize.
Jed Wallace remains Pompey’s leading goalscorer with 11 league strikes in his tally of 14.
But it is a healthy return of 21 goals in all competitions for Tubbs after his efforts for Wimbledon over the first half of the season.
And while the forward admits he has one eye on the top marksman prize, he also has a figure in mind over the remaining weeks of the campaign.
I have set myself a target for the last few weeks of the seasonMatt Tubbs
Tubbs said: ‘I have set myself a target for the last few weeks of the season.
‘I don’t normally set myself goals but I have done this time.
‘I will keep it to myself – but don’t worry, I will let everyone know if I reach it at the end of the season!
‘It’s a personal goal and gives me something to aim for, so hopefully I can achieve it.
‘To be the leading goalscorer in League Two is obviously up there as well.
‘At the start of the season, when I was on loan at Wimbledon, I set myself the target of being the top goalscorer in League Two.
‘I’ve still got the chance to achieve that.
‘If I get the goals I want to get, hopefully I will get there. It will be something to aim for.’
The past two campaigns have been relatively barren by Tubbs’ high standards.
He scored nine goals last term – bouncing back from an unhappy loan spell at Rotherham to score eight times in 12 games with Crawley.
The 30-year-old managed just six goals in 2012-13 at Bournemouth as he found his first-team opportunities limited in their League One promotion campaign.
But before that, the front man enjoyed three prolific seasons with final tallies of 19, 40 and 25 goals in two seasons at Crawley and one at Salisbury.
Tubbs also feels there is plenty to be optimistic about – even if most feel Pompey’s promotion ambitions are over this term.
He said: ‘I’m relatively pleased with how it’s gone but, of course, you can always do better.
‘We’ve got the players here, there is no doubting that, and we have some depth.
‘It’s the manager’s territory on how he wants to improve the team.
‘He has his staff and that is their job to make those decisions.
‘But if the manager brings in a couple more over the summer, we should get even stronger.’