Barker eyes Bird Fratton return

Ryan Bird. Picture: Joe Pepler
Ryan Bird. Picture: Joe Pepler

In-form Ryan Bird will be returning to Pompey before the end of the season.

The striker has netted six goals in eight games during an initial two-month loan spell at Cambridge, the latest in a 5-1 victory over Kidderminster on Saturday.

The Blues have continued to monitor his progress, with representatives in attendance for some of those impressive U’s displays so far.

Richard Money’s side have an option to extend Bird’s loan for a final month from March 24.

If taken up as expected, he will be back at Fratton Park in time for the final two matches of the League Two season.

Meanwhile, the 26-year-old continues to shine for the Skrill Premier side and also has an FA Trophy final against Gosport Borough at Wembley on March 23 to look forward to.

Pompey boss Richie 
Barker said: ‘Ryan has done fantastic.

‘We’ve had somebody watching him and he should be really enjoying his football, playing every week and scoring goals.

‘He had two months with an option if they want to make it into a third.

‘They actually had the option to take him until the end of the season at the time but instead wanted him for two months initially.

‘I did say to him we need to see how he does at that level.

‘If he doesn’t do well that probably answers our question – to be fair to him he has done superbly so far.

‘I think the jump he made (to League Two) was slightly unfair to him – not that he was ever going to turn it down – but there was no half-way house.

‘But he has now found that somewhere in-between.

‘He is enjoying it, scoring goals, doing okay, so we’ll let him keep learning.

‘He’ll be back before the end of the season anyway.’