Bird pledges to sharpen up for Pompey return

Ryan Bird. Picture: Allan Hutchings (131840-558)
Ryan Bird. Picture: Allan Hutchings (131840-558)

Ryan Bird has vowed to return to Pompey with his goal touch and match fitness restored as he seeks to be a Football League success.

The 25-year-old is currently on a month’s loan at the Hawks, after agreeing a move to the Skrill South outfit last week.

The striker is desperate for regular football to boost his chances of breaking into Pompey’s side on a more regular basis.

Bird has started one of the Blues’ first 10 matches this season, appearing as a substitute five times.

It’s the longest period in the former Burnham man’s footballing career he has spent on the bench.

His sole goal at any level since signing for Pompey was in the development group match against Bournemouth last week. Played at Westleigh Park – the home of the Hawks – the fixture was abandoned after 60 minutes.

Bird made a big impression against Hawks in pre-season, scoring two goals in 45 minutes on his Pompey trial.

Now he has a month on loan with Lee Bradbury’s side after making his debut in their 5-0 home defeat to Sutton last Saturday.

And he is hoping to sharpen up his game to ensure he can make more of an impact at Pompey.

He said: ‘I had a meeting with my agent after the Bournemouth development group game.

‘I am fit but you have got to stay match fit and I want get as many 90-minute games as possible so when I come back to Pompey I am ready.

‘The development group play once every three weeks, and now David Connolly is back in the first-team frame straight away, I need to play games somewhere.

‘I have never been on the bench before. I am used to playing regularly, so it’s a bit of a change and a massive step up but I expected that.

‘So rather than just accept it, I want to go out, score goals, get my match fitness back and then return to Pompey sharp and ready.

‘It’s just a month at the moment and Pompey have got a 24-hour recall, so I can come back quicker. I cannot play on Sunday in the FA Cup against Gloucester, though, as they don’t want me cup-tied.

‘I just want to get match fit again and there should still be another three games.’

Replacing the former electrician in Guy Whittingham’s striking pool on the same day was John Marquis.

But while the Millwall striker was an unused substitute against Fleetwood on Saturday, Bird was given a start straight away.

He added: ‘We actually did really well in the first half and had a goal disallowed.

‘Then they scored two not-so-great goals but I still thought during that first half we could win the game.

‘We didn’t really come out in the second half, though.

‘They had five shots on goal and scored them all. I thought I did all right. Me and Scott Jones linked up well in attack in the first-half.’