Izale on McLeod nine after Blues opener

Izale McLeod, right, leads the celebrations after his opener in Pompey's friendly at Aldershot   Picture: Allan Hutchings
Izale McLeod, right, leads the celebrations after his opener in Pompey's friendly at Aldershot Picture: Allan Hutchings

Izale McLeod toasted his first goal in Pompey colours but insisted: I’d rather score them when they really matter.

The Blues triallist netted the only goal of the game in last night’s 1-0 win at Aldershot Town, scoring with a well-taken dinked finish after being put clean through by strike partner Luke Rodgers.

McLeod, who left Barnet at the end of last season, is lined up to join Pompey on a permanent basis but is among the many waiting for boss Michael Appleton to be given the green light to sign players amid the club’s uncertain future.

And while the 27-year-old is prepared to bide his time and keep his fingers crossed, he admitted he was pleased to grab his first strike in a Pompey shirt.

McLeod said: ‘It was nice to get the goal. Strikers always want to score goals but, more importantly, it was a good run-out for the team.

‘Everyone worked hard and we got what we wanted to get out of the game.

‘Last pre-season I had a good spell when I scored four goals and then I went on to score 22 in the actual season.

‘I also had a good pre-season a couple of years ago as well but I don’t worry about it too much.

‘It only really matters when that first league game comes around.

‘That’s when you really need to be ready.’

McLeod, who made one appearance for England under-21s, looked a handful for Pompey against the Aldershot defence.

He showed encouraging signs that he could be a genuine goal threat in League One with his pace, strength and a striker’s instinct for goal.

But while fitness is his main aim at this stage of the season, he remains optimistic he can soon put pen to paper on a deal that has been agreed since May.

McLeod said: ‘The aim is to be fit for the start of the season and to be firing then so I’m feeling good at the moment.

‘I picked up a minor knock out on the tour to Spain but I’ve played most of the three games and my fitness is getting there. Now it’s just a case of wanting to sign.

‘It’s difficult but you’ve just got to carry on and get yourself ready.

‘You just have to hope that everything is going to be alright and to make sure you are ready when the time comes.

‘The gaffer is a bit like everyone else.

‘He wants everything sorted so has told us to keep our heads down and work hard and hopefully things get sorted soon.’