Debutant promises Pompey will turn the corner

Darel Russell. Picture: Steve Reid

Darel Russell. Picture: Steve Reid

Pompey 2 Cambridge United 1 – Neil Allen’s match report

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DAREL RUSSELL spoke of his debut disappointment against Oldham but promised: We’ll get it right.

The Blues new boy had a frustrating bow as Michael Appleton’s men fell to a 1-0 defeat to the Latics on Saturday.

Russell admitted the uncertainty around the club was a factor as he considered a move to Fratton Park.

But the chance to turn out for Pompey was too good an opportunity for the 31-year-old to turn down.

And the midfielder is adamant his team will get it right in the coming weeks after being thrown together at short notice.

Russell said: ‘It’s early in the season and we are building.

‘As the coming weeks progress we will start to understand each other better as team.

‘I’ve been here two days and I’m learning.

‘It’s a nice new way of playing the game.

‘With all due respect, they were a team we far exceeded quality-wise.

‘We started very well and had a great chance with Jordan (Obita).

‘I think if that goes in we would have seen confidence build and the crowd would have really got going.

‘We could have kicked on and got two or three more.

‘It was disappointing not to get that first goal when we had good chances.

‘It’s going to be entertaining here, though.

‘But it’s about getting the continuity going. We will get there.

‘I think we have fantastic ability and fantastic individuals.

‘It’s now about bringing it together as a team and doing it consistently.

‘Once we do that I’m sure we’ll be fine this year and pick up many wins.’

Russell ended a period of over five months without a competitive game at Fratton Park on Saturday.

He confessed the ongoing troubles at Pompey were a consideration in his move but the lure of playing for the club was too strong.

‘It’s Pompey,’ said the combative midfielder.

‘I’ve played for Norwich, Stoke and Preston, who are all big clubs with big histories and massive supports.

‘But who wouldn’t want to play for Pompey?

‘Any player in this division will want to come here with this fantastic support.

‘That’s a major driving factor. When you have a stadium that is full, it is a big factor because you want to perform for those fans.

‘The uncertainty was a factor, you have to be honest, it’s got to be.

‘But I came in and sat down with the gaffer.

‘We had a very open and honest conversation.

‘We shook hands and we both knew where we stood.

‘He’s a very straight and honest man – that attracted me.

‘I’m the same as well. I don’t like to beat around the bush.

‘I’d like someone to tell me if I’ve done wrong. I’ll be honest the other way as well.

‘You can have managers who mollycoddle people or put icing on the cake when the cake shouldn’t be as pretty as it is.

‘That can give you a false sense of security and hope.

‘Being up front brings home what is needed and what is expected. That is the only way to be. In football and in life.’

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