‘Forgotten man’ keen to make up for lost time

Marcos Painter in first-team action against Northampton Picture: Joe Pepler
Marcos Painter in first-team action against Northampton Picture: Joe Pepler

Marcos Painter is determined to continue jogging a few memories after he found himself as Pompey’s forgotten man.

The 27-year-old left-back has come back into the first-team reckoning under new manager Richie Barker after being considered surplus to requirements under previous boss Guy Whittingham and caretaker manager Andy Awford this season.

And the former Brighton defender – whose spell at Fratton Park has been interrupted by a niggling calf problem – admits he was hurt when he found himself not included in the Blues’ match-day 18-man squad after working his way back to fitness last month.

Painter – who has played in Pompey’s past four games after earning a recall for the trip to Bristol Rovers – said: ‘The word “forgotten” is the one I would highlight.

‘I honestly felt like a forgotten man when I wasn’t involved.

‘That hurts you more than anything because I know what I can give to the team.

‘I have come from playing in the Championship last season and I feel I have got that experience where I can help people like Sonny Bradley, Danny East, Bondz N’Gala and the other young players we’ve got here.

‘As soon as I feel I am not wanted or not giving enough to this team, then that would be time up for me. But I feel I have plenty to offer.

‘It’s a club with great potential and I want to be a part of it.’

The former Birmingham and Swansea man got a taste of some of the frustration among the supporters as he watched games from the stands during a difficult climax to 2013 results-wise for the Blues.

And he admits he shared some of the discontent at Fratton Park on a match day as he was unable to do his bit.

‘I was sitting in the stand, fit and available and didn’t play a part in the nine-game winless run,’ said Painter.

‘I was suffering as much as the fans were suffering.

‘I was hearing the boos and it was frustrating me as much as anyone else.

‘I was hearing fans say we needed experience in the back four and I would agree.

‘It was a young back four playing.

‘I know what I can bring to a team, so I feel like I can offer that bit of experience.

‘Hopefully I have shown that when we have kept clean sheets.’

After some steady displays on his return to the side – including the New Year’s Day defeat at Southend – Painter’s current short-term contract is up on January 14.

But he is hopeful that the improved defensive displays will aid his cause and that boss Barker opts to continue with the stability at the back that has seen the defender back in the frame.

Painter added: ‘We’ve worked very hard in training.

‘But it hasn’t been purely focused on 
the back four, it is just tweaking a few areas.

‘We’ve changed personnel as well. The two full-backs have changed – myself for Dan Potts and Danny East has come in for Yassin Moutaouakil of late.

‘But when you have that stability as a back four and you have some partnerships growing, that makes a big difference.

‘You tend to defend better when you feel more comfortable as a unit.’