Boss says sorry to Erik

113029-992_POMPEY_CARDIFF_SR_27/9/11'Pompey vs Cardiff City at Fratton Park.'Pompey new boy Erik  Huseklepp.'''Picture:Steve Reid 113029-992
113029-992_POMPEY_CARDIFF_SR_27/9/11'Pompey vs Cardiff City at Fratton Park.'Pompey new boy Erik Huseklepp.'''Picture:Steve Reid 113029-992
Kanu takes on Morten Gamst Pedersen.  Picture: Steve Reid

Pompey to meet Blackburn in different circumstances

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Steve Cotterill issued an apology to Erik Huseklepp after a disappointing full debut from Pompey’s new boy.

The Norwegian international was given the Blues start fans had been clamouring for against Cardiff.

Asked to play in a striking role alongside Dave Kitson, it was a tough baptism for the 26-year-old.

He was switched to the left wing after the interval before being substituted for Benjani Mwaruwari in the 61st minute.

It was a low-key display from Huseklepp after the mouth-watering cameo at Bristol City last weekend.

And Cotterill, who saw his side claim a 1-1 draw, conceded he was responsible.

He said: ‘Erik was average.

‘He’s only a young boy, he has come over here and everything is new for him.

‘He would have been part of all the other players I have over-trained this week.

‘Not only does he get my apologies, they all do.

‘It was a bit of a lethargic performance really, we weren’t quite at it – we weren’t quite at full belt.

‘That was my fault really, I have over-trained them this week and I have to take responsibility for that.

‘I think we would have been a yard sharper. Hands up, I let the players down this week.

‘It wasn’t a bad performance at all – no problem with that – we just didn’t quite have that zip in us when we needed it.

‘We’ve had so many players in we worked so hard and spent a lot of time on the training ground. I think unfortunately I left a little bit of their legs on the training ground.

‘There were a couple of balls spinning around and they get a foot to them and clear them off the line as opposed to us getting a foot to them and knocking them into the back of the net.

‘Two goal-line clearances we were close enough but if we were a yard sharper we would have toe-poked it over the line.

‘However, we didn’t quite have that sharpness in us and that is my fault.’

Kanu grabbed a point for the Blues in the 80th minute.

He had been on the pitch for only three minutes after coming on to replace Luke Varney.

Yet it was a substitution which ultimately earned Cotterill’s men a 1-1 draw.

He said: ‘We changed our formation a little bit when we made our substitutions.

‘Sometimes that works, sometimes it doesn’t. Somewhere along the line I needed to redeem myself a little bit.

‘It was scant consolation for me after my mistake but I managed to do something to change it.’