Fogden so close to dream return

Wes Fogden. Picture: Joe Pepler
Wes Fogden. Picture: Joe Pepler

Wes Fogden admitted a slight lack of match sharpness cost him a dream goalscoring return to the Pompey side.

The popular midfielder made his long-awaited comeback to the first team as a late substitute in last night’s 1-0 defeat at Northampton Town.

He got a rousing ovation from the travelling Pompey fans as he made his entrance after seven months out with a knee injury.

But Fogden might have snatched a point for his side as he went close to netting a leveller, firing over from Jed Wallace’s cross in the closing stages.

He said: ‘It would have been what dreams are made of if that had gone in.

‘It’s what I was thinking about before I came on.

I’ve trained well for the past four or five weeks, the knee feels good and it’s just nice to be back out there playing again.

Wes Fogden

‘I played the ball out wide to Jed and I was trying to bomb on forward.

‘I timed it right and I got a good connection on it but where I was stretching, I was leaning back a bit too much and lifted it too high.

‘Unfortunately, I just missed the target but hopefully with a couple more games, that sort of chance will hit the back of the net.

‘Hopefully, next time I will be that little bit sharper and I won’t be stretching quite as much.’

The 26-year-old has been a big miss for Pompey this season and his form was one of the major reasons beind the club’s impressive late surge last term.

But a knee ligament injury in July has kept him sidelined and facing many lonely hours in the gym to fight his way back to fitness.

He said: ‘It was a big relief to get out there again.

‘I’ve thought a lot about that moment over the past few months but it all went away as I got back out there.

‘It was hard on the mental side and trying to hurry things up.

‘It’s been a gruelling seven or eight months.

‘There have been some ups and downs and emotionally, it has been like a rollercoaster at times.

‘But nights like that make it worthwhile.

‘I’ve trained well for the past four or five weeks, the knee feels good and it’s just nice to be back out there playing again.

‘Now I want more.’

Fogden insists he has made a full recovery and now just needs time on the pitch to regain his full match fitness.

He said: ‘It’s not really about the knee any more but about being sharp enough in my body to be able to cope with it.

‘I’ve only played 30 minutes and 60 minutes in the reserves.

‘I just need game-time now. That is the only way I am going to get fitter now.

‘When I joined in January last season, it took me a few games to get going so I think it could be similar again.’

Fogden added: ‘It’s a shame we couldn’t get the equaliser.

‘We had a lot of possession but maybe we didn’t quite have that cutting edge in the final third.

‘I don’t think anyone would have been too disappointed if we’d got something out of the game.

‘We had a lot of the ball but it just wasn’t to be in front of goal.’