AARON O’Connor is fighting to be fit for today’s trip to Portsmouth after admitting to being frustrated by his early season form.
The Newport County AFC striker has one goal so far in League Two – in the 3-2 defeat at Morecambe – but he says there is much more to come.
O’Connor was County’s top scorer as they won promotion from the Conference in 2012/13 and scored in the play-off final victory over Wrexham at Wembley.
But he missed nearly all of the 2013/14 campaign due to a niggling groin injury and says he still hasn’t got back to the form that made him a hero at Rodney Parade.
“I was injured for a long time and I still feel I need time to get back to 100 per cent,” said O’Connor, who hopes to overcome a dead leg to take on Pompey this afternoon.
“It might take until Christmas for me to get back to how I was before.
“I feel like I’m back up to pace and in good enough condition to play but I always think I can do better.
“If I score two I want to score three and that’s just the way I am. At the moment I think I’m doing OK.
“It’s frustrating when you know there’s more there and you want to do it as quickly as possible but you can’t get too ahead of yourself.
“Most people have forgotten already that I’ve been out for so long,” he added.
“In a way that’s a good thing because I don’t look like I’ve been out for a long time.
“But I’ve only played two full 90 minutes since we got promoted at Wembley so that’s not a lot of football.
“I’m still getting back into the swing of things and I’m confident in myself and the team that, regardless of the start we’ve had, we can still do well.”
Fellow striker Chris Zebroski has not trained because of a groin strain this week but both should be in the squad at Fratton Park.
O’Connor says the pair need to work on their partnership up front, however.
“Against Burton I made a couple of runs and he was making the same runs,” he said.
“Zebs is like myself – he likes to play on the shoulder a little bit – and we have to work on that and make sure we’re not making the same runs.
“He’s good to play with and he scored a lot of goals last season and if anything that puts more pressure on him to do the same again this season.
“I always set a target for goals and I want to score 15 to 10 goals this season.
“But I just want to have an injury-free year, play as many games as I can and score as many goals as I can.”