In-form Portsmouth midfielder’s disciplinary confession as questions asked over red cards

Pompey midfielder Joe Morrell. Pic: Jason Brown.
Pompey midfielder Joe Morrell. Pic: Jason Brown.

But the in-form midfielder believes he has to continue in his fully-committed approach, if he is to represent the Blues in the manner demanded by fans.

And Morrell outlined a conviction he needs to maintain an ‘edge’ to his game to be the best possible version of himself.

Questions continue to be raised over the Wales international’s disciplinary record, after he picked up the fourth red card of his Fratton career against Peterborough earlier this month.

Morrell acknowledged there’s a balance he has to find in that area of his game, but when playing for Pompey there are certain obligations he has to fulfil.

He said: ‘As a midfielder, I’m going to pick up bookings.

‘I will get five bookings this season, I’m not going to avoid that.

‘I think Regan (Poole) is on four now - it happens when you play 40-plus games a year.

Pompey midfielder Joe Morrell. Pic: Jason Brown.
Pompey midfielder Joe Morrell. Pic: Jason Brown.

‘As a midfielder it’s virtually impossible for me not to get five bookings.

‘But you have to be careful. You have to pick and choose what you pick them up for.

‘This is a club that values a certain kind of football.

‘People will use throwaway comments regarding style of play and philosophy – but there are prerequisites for playing for this football club.

‘I think everyone in that dressing room understands that. I certainly understood it very quickly.

‘You have to try to outrun teams and outfight teams. People expect that here and rightly so.

‘At some clubs you can get away with not doing that.

‘I want to pick up the bookings when they’re needed, and when you are on a booking there are things you can’t do.

‘I’ve always had to play on the edge.

‘I’m small but I’m intense. Hopefully people can see that.

‘I try to make it as difficult for the opposition, as possible - and that’s one of my strengths.

‘But, of course, I have to make sure that doesn’t turn into a weakness.’

Morrell highlighted how he feels his approach is one which has an important role when it comes to managing games.

His most recent red card against Peterborough took his total at Pompey to four dismissals in his time at Fratton Park.

The 26-year-old explained there was no weight being carried on his shoulders after those marching orders, unlike when he was dismissed at MK Dons last term for unnecessarily tangling with wing-back Daniel Harvie.

Morrell added: ‘We all live in a world of hindsight.

‘We had a meeting after Barnsley and the conversation after one of the goals was, “can we make a foul earlier higher up the pitch?”.

‘So it becomes a skill. You look at the best teams - the Spanish and Argentinian teams, they are the best at making early fouls.

‘It’s something you have to get on the right side of, which I didn’t against Peterborough this season.

‘But I can sit there and say that’s an honest mistake, as opposed to doing something stupid - which was obviously the case last season. They are the ones I need to cut out.’

READ MORE: A special bond has developed with the city and in-form international.