Determined Kpekawa wants to prove Pompey worth

Cole Kpekawa on the ball for Pompey. Picture: Barry Zee
Cole Kpekawa on the ball for Pompey. Picture: Barry Zee
  • Youngster has not made last two Pompey squads having started previous two matches
  • Five matches remain in Pompey’s campaign

Cole Kpekawa has pledged to dig deep and prove he is worthy of a Pompey first-team spot.

The loanee has slipped out of favour with Andy Awford after a struggling start to life at Fratton Park.

There are no excuses, I have got to do better, anything that happens is my fault and I will keep pushing on

Cole Kpekawa

Upon arriving from QPR, he served as left wing-back in defeats to AFC Wimbledon and then Shrewsbury before being omitted from the Blues’ 18-man squad.

Dan Butler has now reclaimed the left-sided berth following Awford’s decision to revert to a flat-back four.

That has pushed Kpekawa into the cold, although he did net the winner for the reserves in Tuesday’s 1-0 victory over Peterborough.

With a loan spell until the end of the season, though, the 18-year-old is determined not to give up.

He said: ‘I came to the club, days later had a chance in the first-team and it didn’t go too well for me.

‘But I will keep pushing and hopefully get my place back to prove to the manager I am better than I have shown so far.

‘For the Wimbledon game I suffered a back spasm within the first five minutes of my warm-up. I did a little jogging and it went.

‘It was 50/50 whether I played or not but I thought I’d give it a go and see how it went. I was so up for it on my debut – it’s a massive club, I want to play for it.

‘I took a few tablets but still felt it for the whole 90 minutes. It eased up, yet it didn’t go away and that affected me, I couldn’t really give it my all.

‘I didn’t play the best but had to get through it, it was a tough game as well, a physical game.

‘Against Shrewsbury I wasn’t at my best in the first half, I was off the pace a little bit, but in the second half I did okay.

‘There are no excuses, though, I have got to do better, anything that happens is my fault and I will keep pushing on.

‘I am here until the end of the season so there are a few weeks left to try to prove myself and we’ll see what happens. It is all about hard work and improving yourself.’

Kpekawa, who revealed he is contracted to QPR beyond this summer, spent a stint at Colchester earlier this season.

The youngster made six appearances for the League One side before returning to Loftus Road in January.

But he admitted League Two has required adjusting to.

He added: ‘League One is a bit more on the floor, whereas this level is more physical than I thought.

‘I am getting used to it now, I am learning, and Pompey is also the first time I have ever played in a wing-back role.

‘I’m usually a left-back or centre back. Wing-back is similar, full-backs are wing-backs now, it’s not like the olden days, full-backs have got to get forward now.

‘It wasn’t a big shock to me, more a new challenge. I am naturally an attacking left-back, I like getting on the ball and going forward.’