Cotterill: Jamie is my number one

Jamie Ashdown is the undisputed number one
Jamie Ashdown is the undisputed number one
Pompey and Fulham drew 3-3. Picture: Joe Pepler

Pompey boss disappointed not to get victory

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Jamie Ashdown has been told he is Pompey’s undisputed No1.

Stephen Henderson was snapped up this summer to put pressure on the long-serving former Reading man.

But Steve Cotterill has no doubts over the identity of his best stopper and insisted Ashdown will be his favoured choice.

Henderson was granted his Blues debut in this week’s embarrassing Carling Cup exit to Barnet.

He emerged with plenty of credit, producing a string of quality stops, particularly in one-on-one situations.

However, the Bristol City recruit looked shaky on occasions when attempting to deal with crosses.

And, at present, Henderson is seen as a back-up to Ashdown.

The duo were battling hard to be named against Middlesbrough in last weekend’s season opener.

However, it was Ashdown who received the nod and Cotterill intends to keep him there.

He said: ‘Jamie Ashdown played on Saturday because I still think he is our number-one goalkeeper.

‘We have signed Stephen Henderson for the future.

‘I think I made my thoughts known with Jamie against Middlesbrough. He has taken the number-one shirt.

‘I was always going to play Stephen against Barnet.

‘If we had progressed I would have kept playing him in the cup games because you have got to give him an airing.

‘He is a young keeper who has got potential.

‘What that means is he is going to do some really good things, like he did against Barnet, and some others things that are not so good.

‘It was just unfortunate for him he had a team in front of him who didn’t play as committed as they did on Saturday.’

Henderson arrived at Fratton Park last month, aiming to become a first-team regular.

That desire saw him quit Bristol City, despite being offered a new two-year deal to remain.

The 23-year-old won four player-of-the-season awards on loan at Yeovil last term.

Cotterill admitted his arrival had provided extra competition for the No1 spot.

At present, Ashdown is his first choice.

But he believes Henderson has a bright future.

He added: ‘Stephen is a good one for the future.

‘His kicking is good, although I think against Barnet when he’s hurried he got a little bit erratic.

‘And he spilt a couple.

‘They are already things John Keeley is working with him on so we will get there in the end with him.

‘But he’s only a young man, so we’ve got to work with him.’