Hartlepool Utd’s Jack Compton in return to Portsmouth

Jack Compton in action against Bristol Rovers. Picture by FRANK REID

Jack Compton in action against Bristol Rovers. Picture by FRANK REID

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EMOTIONAL return. It is an often over-used expression by journalists when a player is going to a former club.

Not so for Jack Compton, who views a visit to boyhood club Portsmouth as “just another game.”

But it is not just another game – Pools are desperate to end their worst run of the season.

Colin Cooper’s side have lost three on the bounce and another defeat could send them even further down the table.

Pompey are going to be a tough hurdle to clear - under caretaker boss, club stalwart Andy Awford, they are desperately trying to keep the famous old club in the Football League.

“I am just fully focused on going there and trying to get the win,” said the 25-year-old who played 13 times for Pompey in League One before falling out of favour with Guy Whittingham who took over from Michael Appleton.

“Guy did things a lot of the players disagreed with and you can tell that by the results.

“But there are no hard feelings from me towards Portsmouth.

“When I played there last season it was a bit of an emotional return, I’d joined the Academy as a kid and then I played for the first team which was special.

“But now it’s just another game really and one we’re looking to win.

“Andy signed me at Portsmouth when I was 13 and he’s in charge of the first team again now.

“Looking at the league table, I think there are a few teams who can get relegated but I don’t think they will go down.

“Hopefully our season will not finish badly – there are still 18 points to play

“They are all winable games

“Tomorrow is going to be hard – Portsmouth are fighting for their lives, they don’t want to be relegated again.

“We have a lot of injuries but we can’t let that affect us, we’ve got to go there with a positive attitude.

“If we can pass the ball as I know we can then we can get the three points.”

Compton is happy chap again. He is back in the side and looking sharp - and hungry for goals and wins.

To say the Cardiff-born wideman has had something of a rollercoaster career would be an understatement.

Including loan spells, he has represented 12 clubs in just over half a dozen years, and even though this is his first season at Pools, it is already third on the appearance list.

Compton has played 21 times and his form in the autumn had much to do with the team’s rise from the bottom up to the higher echelons.

“I feel as though I’m getting my form back,” said the much travelled winger

“I’m getting more of the ball, I’m running at people and I’m creating chances.

“Hopefully I can get a few goals as well.

“I’m really enjoying my football again.”

Compton feels Pools were “desperately unlucky” to finish last Saturday’s game empty-handed and was honest enough to admit that a miss of his did not help.

“We created and we created and we created, but we couldn’t score,” he said.

“We need to be switched on, all over the field.

“I missed a sitter and at the other end the ball should have been cleared.

“We need to be fully focused, but we were desperately unlucky not to win last week.”