Morecambe was the spark – now season can catch fire

Jed Wallace celebrates his goal against Morecambe. Picture: Joe Pepler
Jed Wallace celebrates his goal against Morecambe. Picture: Joe Pepler

Jed Wallace challenged Pompey to use their maiden League Two victory as a catalyst as they go to Mansfield.

Guy Whittingham’s side picked up their first maximum last weekend as they swept Morecambe aside at Fratton Park.

Wallace sensed the intensity rising in the build-up to that game – and that impetus has carried over into training this week.

The 19-year-old responded to a lacklustre start to the season with an impressive performance last time out.

Wallace got on the scoresheet in an all-action display against the Shrimps.

Now he’s looking for more of the same at Field Mill.

Wallace said: ‘We’ve got something to build on after Morecambe.

‘I think there is some relief but, you know, people stick with you here.

‘You want those three points, though, and now we can build on that.

‘It’s good to be able to have a good week’s training and then go again.

‘Training has gone up through the levels. Everyone has raised it.

‘I was so desperate to do well. I know the expectation of me and people want me to do well.

‘So when it doesn’t happen, I’m frustrated.

‘It’s a long season and there’s 46 games, so I suppose I will have a few minging ones!

‘But the challenge now is to build on what we started.’

Pompey go into tomorrow’s game looking to grab their maiden away victory of the season after drawing 2-2 at Accrington in their opening road trip.

Over 1,000 fans had an early start as they made the long journey north for the lunch-time kick-off.

Around 1,500 tickets have been sold for tomorrow’s game – with no tickets available on the day.

Wallace believes having that following brings a positive pressure to the team.

He said: When we go to places like Accrington, like we did, it almost feels like I’m back at Whitehawk in the Ryman League.

‘But the following we get is ridiculous.

‘It’s a pressure that you enjoy, though. You want to be playing in front of a lot of people.’

Wallace remains philosophical about his form for Pompey so far this season.

He made a big impression on his Blues breakthrough at the start of 2013, which saw the bar raised for him.

The midfielder has his own expectations over his performances.

He is pleased to remain in the first-team so far – but also demands a high level from himself.

‘Sometimes I have to take a step back,’ said Wallace.

‘I’m playing first-team football at 19. That’s a good achievement but I also think if you are good enough you are old enough.

‘I don’t want to be a League Two player, though.

‘So we have an opportunity now to push forward.

‘I want to enjoy going forward with this club. If I do well the club will do well. That’s the aim.’