Cotterill pleased with Russian charity workout

Luke Varney made a welcome return to the Pompey line-up
Luke Varney made a welcome return to the Pompey line-up
Former Pompey defender Sonny Bradley has a word with Peterborough forward Marcus Maddison    Picture: Joe Dent

Pompey v Plymouth: The Opposition View

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Steve Cotterill was satisfied with Pompey’s Russian workout as he insisted: We got a lot out of it.

The Blues boss fielded a strong side for the charity clash with FC Rostov but also handed an opportunity to some of his fringe players, promising youngsters, and triallist Fernando Vega in the 2-0 win.

But with a poignant video tribute to the players and officials of ice hockey team Lokomotiv Yaroslavl who were tragically killed in a plane crash last month shown before the game, Cotterill felt it was important for Pompey to show their support.

He said: ‘It was so sad looking at the video beforehand of those people who died but our fans were great – as they always are – and clapped all the way through, ending up seeing a couple of goals and a bit of good football.

‘I thought it was a good evening’s work all round.

‘It was a really good cause and the players showed a really good attitude.’

Blues forward Luke Varney, who welcomed the game after his recent suspension, echoed the manager’s thoughts.

He said: ‘It shows you what can happen in life sometimes.

‘We are so lucky with the job we do and you can’t take anything for granted.

‘It was such a tragedy and we all knew what it meant to their team and the owners.

‘We were more than happy to do our bit and there was a decent turnout from the fans that will have hopefully raised some money for those families.

‘It was good to help out just a little bit.’

Cotterill, meanwhile, saw signs of the confidence returning to his side as they claimed a victory against a more-than-capable side who have been on a decent run back in their homeland.

He said: ‘It’s amazing how, when you get a couple of goals up, the football changes and they (the players) start showing what they show in training every day.

‘It just goes to show what a couple of goals will do for confidence. It probably wasn’t about getting the win, even though it was nice to get it.

‘They are unbeaten in eight games in their league and they are obviously a decent side with some decent players, and it was good for us to be in front of our fans winning.

‘That is really important for the players. I think we might have got more out of the game than we might have thought we would beforehand.

‘It helped that our crowd turned up and supported both sides so well and it was important that the lads played well.

‘Some of those players are out of the team at the moment and it was enjoyable to see some of the young ones that are trying to break through.’