Midfielder pleased to make league debut
Adam Barton has had a difficult start to his Pompey career.
The summer arrival from Coventry missed all of pre-season with a groin injury before finally making his debut in a Johnstone’s Paint Trophy defeat to Exeter at the start of the month.
And Oxford was the scene of his league bow on Saturday, as the midfielder replaced Nigel Atangana at half-time.
Pompey were trailing at that point, but Adam McGurk levelled from long-range before Michael Doyle was sent off.
Barton admits that he is not yet at his physical peak, but is happy to be back in action after a frustrating spell on the sidelines.
He said: “It was a tough game to go into and I’m a bit short of match fitness at the moment.
“You can do as much running as you want on the training pitch, but being properly match fit is completely different.
“It was hard to get into the game at the start of the second half because everyone else was already at the right tempo and I needed to get warmed up.
“I made a few mistakes – that was always going to happen – but I just tried to get on the ball and have an impact.
“The red card made things even more difficult at the end because we all had to work harder, but just being out there was a massive positive for me.
“It was difficult when I was out injured and not involved in the squad, but I’ve just had to work hard in training.
“Confidence is one of the biggest things in football, so being back out there has given me a big lift and hopefully I can build on that.”