Danny Hollands eager to maintain his Pompey rejuvenation

Danny Hollands. Picture: Joe Pepler
Danny Hollands. Picture: Joe Pepler
  • Pompey have won one of their last six matches since Danny Hollands has been absent from the starting line-up
  • The midfielder has made 77 appearances for the Blues

The fracture in his right leg spanned 1.4cm, bringing a run of 14 successive matches crashing down.

Now Danny Hollands is back – and eager to continue his Pompey rejuvenation.

Ben Close. Picture: Joe Pepler

Ben Close. Picture: Joe Pepler

By his own admission, the 30-year-old endured a frustrating campaign last term as he failed to perform consistently for the Blues.

The signing so lauded by the Fratton faithful in the summer of 2014, had become a target for criticism.

It would take Hollands until September 26 to start a League Two match under new boss Paul Cook, arriving in the 2-1 win at Bristol Rovers.

Yet following a goalless draw against Mansfield a month later he established himself as a first-team regular alongside Michael Doyle as the holding midfield two.

Last year personally I felt lower than a snake’s belly, it was horrible for whatever reason

Danny Hollands

Then came the leg break at Ipswich in January – and the in-form midfielder was sidelined.

Hollands returned to the squad for Tuesday night’s defeat at Barnet, with Ben Close continuing in the role the ex-Bournemouth man used to exercise.

And with Cambridge United visiting on Saturday, he is determined to reclaim the spot he was forced to relinquish at an inopportune moment.

Hollands said: ‘The Ipswich player’s weight fell my on leg and I heard a little crack, but wasn’t sure it was my knee or ankle.

‘To have started 14 successive games was more than I thought I would have got and it was a shame to get injured at that time, especially the way it happened.

‘Last year personally I felt lower than a snake’s belly, it was horrible for whatever reason.

‘Then come the start of the season because you haven’t played well you don’t know what the situation is so I’ve had to get my head down and prove to the manager I want to be here and be part of it. Thankfully I was given a chance.

‘The fracture was 1.4cm and I had to be careful of the weight bearing on it. If the bone subsequently moved I would have had to have a plate put in.

‘I was in a boot for two weeks and thankfully it went back together the right way.

‘For those first two weeks I largely did nothing, just upper body work and a few swimming sessions with a float on my leg. After that it was onto a machine for running.

‘Since returning to full training there haven’t been any reserve matches planned because of the first-team fixture list, which is quite a tough one for me.

‘But the medical team have been putting on fantastic sessions for me and I feel good and am hoping I can get minutes.’

Since Hollands departed the starting line-up, Pompey have failed to keep a clean sheet and won once in six league matches.

Now he’s back.

He added: ‘It was enjoyable playing with Michael Doyle. With the two in front of defence, as much as I love getting into the box, it’s nice to see a lot of the ball and make the team tick.

‘Ben has since stepped in and done fantastic, he has been really good, and it is going to be hard to get my place back.’