Cotterill dreams of building on debut delight

David Cotterill impressed on his Pompey debut against Barnsley
David Cotterill impressed on his Pompey debut against Barnsley
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It was more Greg Halford than Carl Dickinson or Jonathan Hogg.

Now David Cotterill believes he can go from strength to strength following his impressive Pompey introduction.

Steve Cotterill’s loan signings have tended to struggle initially upon their Fratton Park arrival.

On their debuts, Dickinson endured a torrid time at the hands of Reading’s Jimmy Kebe, while Hogg cut an anonymous figure against Burnley, only to excel in every match since.

In addition, Ibrahima Sonko didn’t convince at Coventry, while Ritchie de Laet suffered late heartache in a last-gasp Forest defeat.

At least Halford sparkled at both right-back and in the centre of defence in a 1-0 win at Millwall in October.

Now Cotterill has landed at the Blues and showed glimpses of what he can offer in a wide-left role.

Against Barnsley on Saturday, the 23-year-old displayed a willingness to track back, whipped in several dangerous crosses and sparked applause from the home faithful following one wonderful piece of skill in the first half.

He will retain his place on the left against Crystal Palace tonight as Steve Cotterill’s men seek a third-successive victory.

And the Welsh international – who is on loan from Swansea – believes he can build on his encouraging bow.

He said: ‘There is obviously a lot more to come from me.

‘That was my first game for six or seven weeks, maybe longer so I don’t feel match sharp yet.

‘Hopefully, another two or three games I will be a lot sharper.

‘Portsmouth needed a wide player, that is why they brought me in, so hopefully I can bring a lot more.

‘I’ve got pace, and being a more direct player, I can cause problems for defenders and create a few chances for my team-mates.

‘It had been a frustrating time for me at Swansea. I haven’t played as many games as I would have liked.

‘The past four to five weeks I haven’t even been in their squad.

‘I feel a bit unlucky, really. I spoke to the manager (Brendan Rodgers) a few times and he agrees.

‘At the start of the season I was playing behind the front man and doing really well.

‘Since I’ve been out, the boys in there have been doing really well and won games.

‘They are a great bunch and I am happy when they are doing well.

‘That’s just the way football goes and hopefully I can get a few games under my belt at Pompey.’

Fratton Park already holds plenty of memories for Cotterill after he made his Premier League debut there.

Wigan recruited him in August 2006 from Bristol City in a £2m deal.

Weeks later – on Saturday, September 9 – he was thrown in for a bow, coming on as a 78th-minute substitute for Gary Teale.

The Latics went on to lose 1-0 to a Benjani Mwaruwari goal.

This time around, Cotterill was more than delighted to have marked his south-coast return with a winning start.

He added: ‘I actually made my Wigan debut at Fratton Park in the Premier League.

‘The place was jumping then and it was no different on Saturday.

‘We lost 1-0 that and it’s now nice the fans are there supporting me.

‘There’s a fantastic passion here and a lot of history.

‘They are great supporters and hopefully we can keep them jumping until the end of the season.

‘On Saturday, they got right behind us and it was important we got the three points.

‘Now we play Palace tonight and it’s important we build on what we did against Barnsley.

‘We played them (Palace) twice this season at Swansea.

‘It should be a difficult game – they are down there as well and it will be a very tough.’