Stevens: Personal acclaim means nothing without Pompey promotion
ENDA STEVENS celebrated a season of accolades but promised: They're worthless without promotion.
The Blues defender is out to continue a campaign of consistency as Pompey take on Plymouth this afternoon at Fratton Park.
Stevens followed up his selection in the EFL League Two team of the season alongside Christian Burgess and David Forde with more personal recognition on Sunday.
That was when the 26-year-old was named in the overall EFL team of the season.
The Irishman and Plymouth’s former Blues defender, Sonny Bradley, were the only players from League Two selected.
The success arrives off the back of another strong campaign for the left-back, who’s played 40 of Pompey’s 41 league games to date.
Stevens spoke of being honoured at the awards, and is sure to be in the running for the end-of-season player-of-the-year trophies.
But the former Aston Villa trainee underlined they will only have value to him if the Blues go up.
He said: ‘It’s a great achievement winning these awards and I’m very thankful for it.
‘But it won’t count for anything unless we get promoted.
‘Personal accolades are nice, but there’s no point in getting personal accolades if you don’t then also achieve things as a team.
‘You want to be remembered for achieving things with your team-mates – then the personal accolades are there, too.
‘I’m not looking into it too much.
‘Obviously, it was a surprise for me and I was very thankful. It’s a good achievement, but my main focus is this club.
‘I was surprised and I wasn’t expecting it really.
‘It’s good to have your hard work recognised.’
Pompey go in search of their 20th clean sheet of the campaign in today’s promotion showdown against Plymouth.
Stevens has been a big part of that strength in a defence which has played a key role in the Blues being in a strong position to go up automatically.
The left-back has no doubt Pompey’s back four and goalkeeper David Forde deserve some of the reflected glory for his recent recognition.
And he highlighted the importance of his understanding down the left flank with Kyle Bennett as a key factor in his form.
Stevens added: ‘Obviously, the consistency of our team has helped me to be picked in the team of the year.
‘I’m only as good as my team-mates.
‘I’ve got to thank the likes of Christian Burgess, Clarkey (Matt Clarke), Gaz Evans, Fordey (David Forde), Doyler (Michael Doyle) and the like.
‘Then there’s Kyle Bennett. All I have to do is give the ball to Benno and let him run around!
‘We’ve got a good understanding and he’s in terrific form at the minute.
‘He’s some player and you could see that in the way he’s playing now.
‘Robbo (Gary Roberts), Naisy (Kal Naismith) and Bakes (Carl Baker) and the attacking lads have a good understanding.’