Gary Roberts showed his quality in Saturday’s 3-1 win over Bristol Rovers – but Pompey fans still haven’t seen the best of him.
That’s the view of assistant boss Leam Richardson, after the hosts reignited their League Two promotion push with a return to winning ways at Fratton Park.
I don’t think anybody at Portsmouth has seen anywhere near the best of Gary Roberts yetPompey assistant boss Leam Richardson
Roberts, playing in an attacking three behind lone striker Michael Smith, gave the visiting defence a torrid time – capping an eye-catching display with the Blues’ official man-of-the-match award.
But the 31-year-old, who arrived on a three-year deal in the summer from Chesterfield, cut a frustrated figure in the dressing room after the game after failing to add to his seven-goal tally for the season.
Roberts, who was sidelined for two months earlier in the season with an ankle injury, is his own harshest critic.
But Richardson has backed his former Accrington team-mate to be a key figure in Paul Cook’s fifth-placed side’s push for promotion.
‘Everybody knows Gary’s qualities,’ said Richardson.
‘He has been unlucky this season with injuries, he needs to get up and running, but it is no surprise when Gary performs like that.
‘He was sat in the dressing room annoyed he hadn’t scored on Saturday or done something extra, that’s just the type of lad he is.
‘I have played with Gary, managed him and worked with him for years.
‘I don’t think anybody at Portsmouth has seen anywhere near the best of Gary Roberts yet.
‘There were glimpses Saturday and he is the one who puts most pressure on himself.
‘The manager helps him with that because he will want to finish the season strongly.’