Cotterill praises Chuckle Brothers

112755-415_BORO_POMPEY_SR_6/8/11'Pompey vs Middlesborough at the Riverside Stadium.'Luke Varney celebrates scoring the late late equalising goal.''Picture:Steve Reid
112755-415_BORO_POMPEY_SR_6/8/11'Pompey vs Middlesborough at the Riverside Stadium.'Luke Varney celebrates scoring the late late equalising goal.''Picture:Steve Reid
Dion Donohue. Picture: Colin Farmery

New boy’s bitter-sweet Pompey experience

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TheY’Re his Pompey Chuckle Brothers – but these jokers also score a goal or two as well.

Steve Cotterill has lauded the impact Luke Varney and David Norris have had on his team’s dressing room since they arrived at Fratton Park.

Both Varney and Norris were on the score sheet as the Blues twice came from behind to grab an opening-day draw at Middblesbrough on Saturday.

Norris cracked in a fine 25 yarder two minutes after the restart at the Riverside.

Then Varney rescued a point in stoppage time, when he latched on to Christian Dailly’s blocked shot and rifled his effort past Boro keeper Carl Ikeme.

Both men delivered impressive all-round performances which earned them praise from their manager.

But it’s their impact on the squad which has also gone down well with Cotterill.

Norris and Varney have linked up as room-mates on Pompey’s travels, and hit it off as pals.

And Cotterill believes they will continue to make their mark – both on and off the pitch.

He said: ‘Luke and David have come in and paired up.

‘They are great lads. It’s funny because they have come in from clubs at opposite ends of the country.

‘But they are like a couple of clowns off the pitch together.

‘I thought they showed good responsibility, the pair of them, though.

It’s good to have a couple of new ones come in and play well. It helps when I go asking for a couple more. Or five more!

‘They have paid dividends already and will continue to do so throughout the season.

They were both good at Boro. It wasn’t just because of their goals. They performed well.’

Cotterill has also bemoaned the Football League’s decision to reduce the number of subs being used this season from seven to five.

Pompey didn’t fill their bench at Boro, but Cotterill believes the ruling could have a long-term impact on young players.

Cotterill said: ‘If we do happen to get some players, what happens to people like young Ryan Williams?

‘If we go and get a couple of players now, what do I do? Do I have to leave him out?

‘If the chairmen of League Two clubs wanted it done for financial reason I’d understand that. But it will make hard work for managers in the Championship with good players.

‘I don’t think it’s a plus.

‘And I certainly don’t think it’s a plus for younger players.’