Cotterill excited by five-star showing

Jason Pearce was one of five new Pompey signings to feature against the Hawks
Jason Pearce was one of five new Pompey signings to feature against the Hawks
Conor Chaplin and Brett Pitman. Picture: Shaun Boggust

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Steve Cotterill surveyed the impressive unveiling of his five Pompey new boys and promised: They will all deliver.

Luke Varney, David Norris, Greg Halford, Jason Pearce and Stephen Henderson all featured in last night’s 4-0 friendly success over the Hawks.

The Blues ended up cantering to victory, although took 60 minutes before breaking down the hosts’ defence.

Varney capped a superb second-half display with a stunning goal and Greg Halford hit the bar with a free-kick during an outstanding performance.

New skipper Norris and Bournemouth recruit Pearce also caught the eye, while Henderson came on at the interval as a substitute for Jamie Ashdown.

Cotterill has his eye on more recruits as he continues to strengthen his small squad.

And he is confident those five he has so far brought to Fratton Park will prove to be excellent signings.

He said: ‘The new lads who have come in have fitted into the group really well.

‘They are good lads and, hopefully, will bring a lot more of what people saw last night.

‘I don’t think any of them will turn out to be bad signings, I am pretty sure of that.

‘That is not patting myself on the back, that is more knowing about their characters.

‘We knew about Greg, so that wasn’t so much of a new one, but it’s nice to have him permanently. I think young Jason Pearce will come in and he will do well over a period of time. Obviously, he is suspended early on.

‘Stephen Henderson I thought did very well when he went in goal last night.

‘David Norris speaks for himself.

‘He brings energy and goals to the team, and Luke Varney will do the same.

‘It was a great goal from Luke last night and a great ball from the lad Lewis Stockford.

‘I think there were a few good performances and we are really happy with the ones we’ve got so far during the summer.’

Joel Ward, Hayden Mullins and Dave Kitson were the other goalscorers in the 4-0 West Leigh Park victory.

Cotterill utilised 17 players, among them teenagers Stockford, Lewis Tallack, Sam Magri and Ryan Williams.

Williams picked up a tight calf to end an explosive introduction to the right wing during the second half.

Out of the contracted first-team players for the season ahead, only Liam Lawrence and Kanu were missing.

Lawrence was absent with a tight calf, although was at the ground, while Kanu is due back on Thursday.

Cotterill added: ‘Liam had a tight calf, so that was precautionary.

‘Kanu might have 10 minutes against Chelsea.

‘We’ll see how he is.’