BLUES boss Steve Cotterill has hailed the capture of Pompey’s new ice-cool goal ace.
Cotterill believes Erik Huseklepp will add a clinical nose for finishing to his team, following his £1.5m arrival from Bari.
Huseklepp yesterday trained with his new team-mates for the first time after linking up with his new side.
His boss immediately picked up on the 26-year-old’s nerveless eye for goal after running the rule over the Norway international.
Cotterill called on Pompey fans to give Huseklepp time to settle in, as they get ready to laud a new attacking hero.
But he feels the pacy new arrival can add a different dimension to his side, as they bid to make an impact in the Championship this season.
Cotterill said: ‘Erik will bring pace to the team and he has an eye for a goal.
‘He can play up top and he can play wide.
‘He’s 26 with 21 games for Norway and six goals. That’s an excellent ratio at international level.
‘He’s a good, calm finisher with a good strike and great pace.
‘We just need to give him time to adapt to how we do things in our country. We need to let him settle in.
‘He’s a great kid, young boy and very respectful. I hope he comes over here and gets the success he deserves.
‘His pace stands out. He travels well with the ball, gets the other side of players and likes to run.
‘That is difficult in our game to find. He has good pace and wants to go into the back of teams. I wanted someone like that.
‘He’ll score goals here looking at his finishes. The goals he scored in training yesterday were good. He doesn’t give the goalkeeper time to get set. He takes things early.
‘It was pleasant to see that close up. Technically he’s good and his pace is good.
‘Let’s hope he uproots trees. But let’s not expect too much early on.’
Cotterill feels Huseklepp will need time to bed into the rigours of the English game.
He believes the physical nature of the Championship will be something he has to acclimatise to.
But the Pompey boss insisted he has other attributes to compensate for that.
Cotterill said: ‘If you look at him he looks younger than he is.
‘He’s fresh faced and he doesn’t look 26. That’s good.
‘He might be a late developer. He’s got bedding in time here.
‘There’s no big demands on him early on – other than to work hard and run hard. He’ll have no excuses there.
‘If there is something to work on it may be the physical side of the game.
‘But he’s quick and if he’s quick enough they won’t be able to catch him.
‘By the time he’s been kicked a few times by Jason Pearce, Aaron Mokoena and Hermann Hreidarsson he’ll soon toughen up anyway.
‘That’s why it’ll take him a while, because he won’t be used to it. He will get used to it, though.’