Hayden Carter vows Blackburn Rovers playing time after loan spell
For the second summer in a row, Hayden Carter will return to Rovers after being loaned out in Ligue 1 and the defender insists: “I need to play games”.
Carter made 22 successive starts for Portsmouth, leaving with his goal of the season and earning rave reviews.
Pompey is desperate to bring him back for next season, and although Carter’s priority is a Championship appearance with Rovers, a return to Fratton Park is not something he will rule out.
Rovers turned down loan offers for Carter last summer, the 22-year-old needed the squad due to injuries elsewhere in the squad, and he made nine appearances in the first half of the campaign.
But form and fitness in the Rovers ranks enabled Carter to move out on loan, with Portsmouth winning the race for his signature.
His aim will be to impress in pre-season for Rovers, but having had a taste of regular football with Portsmouth and Burton Albion last season when he was named runner-up in their player of the year vote, Carter says game time is vital.
He said: “I’ve had a few loans now and I’ve played 13 times for Blackburn so I feel like what I have to do is play for them.
“I can’t hang around, sit on the bench and play the weird Under-23 game because it’s not football, it’s playing games, winning games. I’m at that stage of my career where I have to do this.
“I am definitely ready for the championship. I had two very good loan spells in Ligue 1 and I think I did very well – the next step in my career is to play regularly in the league.
“Now I’m ready to step into their first team in the championship.
“I signed a new contract in August, so hopefully I can progress from that and get into the Championship team and play regularly.”
Pompey boss Danny Cowley has indicated that a loan or permanent move for Carter will be among his summer priorities, although with two more years left on his contract at Rovers, the latter seems unlikely.
“First of all, I will return to Blackburn for pre-season as fit as I can to prepare for the season ahead and see what the manager thinks and what is best for my career,” Carter told the PortsmouthNews.
“I wouldn’t say going back to Pompey isn’t possible – and I wouldn’t say it’s definitely going to happen.
“You never know in football, if the option (of Pompey) came up and I think it’s the best thing for my career in terms of playing and development, then I would be open to that.”
“But, at the moment, it’s just about resting, getting back to Blackburn as fit as possible and seeing what happens.”
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