Nugent - Pompey woe improved me
Front man admits South Coast switch was a 'mistake'
Last Updated: March 28, 2010 11:47am
Nugent: Portsmouth mistake
On-loan Burnley striker David Nugent says his nightmare spell at Portsmouth has improved him as a player and a person.
Nugent arrived at Fratton Park under the stewardship of Harry Redknapp in 2007 following a £6million move from Championship side Preston, but struggled to force his way into the first-team fold at the club.
Burnley came in to end his frustrating time at the South Coast outfit, which he says caused him to become disillusioned with a football career that looked set to soar following his England debut.
Nugent earned his first - and so far only - cap during Steve McClaren's reign as Three Lions boss, scoring during a 3-0 Euro 2008 qualifying win over Andorra in Spain.
The 24-year-old was still a Preston player at that point, and a move to the Premier League with Pompey looked to set unleash the Merseyside-born front man onto the biggest stage.
But the former Bury man fell out of favour with Redknapp - meaning he found himself frozen out and made just 34 appearances before Burnley moved to take him on loan for the season.
And Nugent - who has notched six times this season during the Clarets' battle to beat the drop - has spoken of the difficulty he endured at his parent club, but insisted it had made him stronger as he looks to get his career back on track.
Speaking to the News of the World, he said: "Ever since I played for England, things have gone downhill. Nobody really explained why I didn't get a chance at Portsmouth.
"I could have gone to Sunderland but I chose Portsmouth. I think I made the wrong decision. People make mistakes, you have to live with that.
"But I've come back stronger, coming to Burnley. I had to dig deep to keep on going at Portsmouth because I was really depressed.
"I didn't want to go to training in the morning. I had to get through it. I knew I'd only be playing for the reserves every week - it was hard to take. I signed expecting to play.
"I think it's made me strong as a player and a person, though. I can look back and say I've improved as a player and moved on."