Cotteril: Captaincy has boosted Kitson’s performances

Pompey skipper Dave Kitson in action against Ipswich
Pompey skipper Dave Kitson in action against Ipswich
Pompey and Fulham drew 3-3. Picture: Joe Pepler

Pompey boss disappointed not to get victory

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The Pompey captaincy is bringing the best out of Dave Kitson.

That’s the verdict of Steve Cotterill, who is convinced handing over the armband has upped the striker’s performances in the past two games.

Kitson was the surprise choice to take over the captaincy from the injured Liam Lawrence and the benched Aaron Mokoena last week.

Since then, he has skippered the Blues to successes over Crystal Palace and Ipswich, while the former Stoke man stands to stay skipper for tonight’s visit of Scunthorpe.

Regardless, it is still two goals in 19 matches for striker.

But Cotterill believes there have been improvements in the 31-year-old’s displays as a result.

He said: ‘Perhaps I gave the captaincy to Kits to give him a boost, to tell him what I think of him. He has taken the responsibility quite well and I think in the two games he’s been captain he has absolutely run himself into the ground.

‘The lads were having a joke with him yesterday morning and I am sure I heard from distance someone calling him skip.

‘Kits has got a really good dry sense of humour and deep down would find it a tad embarrassing. But I’m really pleased for him.

‘It’s amazing what a captain’s armband can do and if it has given him a boost, great.

‘Sometimes his work gets a little bit overlooked. There are other things that he does.

‘He’s got that loping style so it looks like he is lazy but the one thing is for sure, he isn’t lazy because I have the stats to prove it.

‘I thought he worked hard on Saturday and made a great run for the second goal.

‘He took the defender away and opened up the space for David Cotterill to get a finish.

‘Probably that would be overlooked but I thought he battled quite hard.’

Kitson has scored six goals in 27 appearances for Pompey since his switch from Stoke in August last year.