Enda Stevens given license to attack for Pompey

Enda Stevens. Picture: Joe Pepler
Enda Stevens. Picture: Joe Pepler
  • Irish left-back provides width in Paul Cook’s favoured formation

Enda Stevens revealed he has been given the freedom to add a new attacking dimension to Pompey this season.

The new Blues left-back gave a glimpse of his abilities in the pre-season clash at Hawks on Saturday with a series of enterprising runs from deep.

The gaffer and the coaching staff encourage you to go forward

Enda Stevens

With boss Paul Cook keen to employ a 4-2-3-1 formation this season, there will be even more focus on the full-backs to provide the width.

But the Irishman already looks like he has the pace, fitness and quality delivery to become an important cog in the wheel.

Stevens said: ‘The gaffer and the coaching staff encourage you to go forward.

‘Whenever possible, I will look to do that and try my best to add something going forward.

‘In the 4-2-3-1 system, the full-backs are quite often the width in the team.

‘You have two sitting midfielders to cover you.

‘Then with the three lads and the striker, you’ve got to trust them to keep the ball and bring you into play when they need you.

‘But I’ve played at left-back since I was a kid so I know the position pretty well now.

‘I started off as a centre-midfielder but I was the only left-footer in the team so I got shoved to left-back.

‘I think it’s my best position. I know it the best and I enjoy it.

‘It gives me opportunities to get forward and join in but I like the defensive side of it as well, which is just as important.’

While Cook irons out the system and specific roles for his new team, the 25-year-old insists the process should not take long in getting the new team settled.

And he believes it helps that he already knew several of his new team-mates before their mass arrival at Fratton Park this summer.

The former Aston Villa man said: ‘I don’t think I have been in this position before where a new team is put together.

‘But I have played with Kyle Bennett and Theo Robinson, I know Adam McGurk, I’ve played against Gary Roberts and Christian Burgess so I know what he is all about.

‘I grew up watching Michael Doyle play so I know a lot about him.

‘Personally, I already know a good few of them and it never takes too long to get to know players.

‘We are playing football with each other every day so I don’t see it taking too long.

‘There are some good characters here.

‘It can take a little while to get used to exactly how everybody plays.

‘But that’s what pre-season is for.

‘We got to know each other out in Portugal but the banter and team spirit grows.

‘It’s now just a case of getting on the pitch and learning a bit more about each other and we will do that as soon as possible.

‘The games will help with that. We have got a few friendlies coming up and that’s why they are important.’