I HOPE AND PRAY NUGE DECIDES TO STAY

Pompey striker David Nugent
Pompey striker David Nugent
Dion Donohue has signed a two-year deal at Pompey Picture: Colin Farmery

Pompey new boy’s out to continue rise

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Steve Cotterill has urged David Nugent to pledge his future to Pompey.

The Blues’ top scorer was the inspiration behind Saturday’s 2-0 triumph at Ipswich.

He scored one and created the other for David Cotterill as Pompey recorded a fourth successive victory.

For Nugent, it was his 11th goal of the season as he continues to flourish under the management of Steve Cotterill.

Yet, worryingly, he is out of contract this summer.

Despite talks initially opening in December with David Lampitt, the Pompey boss believes they are no nearer a conclusion.

And he wants a solution as soon as possible to keep Nugent at the club for the forseeable future.

He said: ‘Ipswich are probably sick and tired of the sight of him.

‘He’s a good, honest kid and I am delighted for him.

‘He’s got his few goals and he has worked his socks off from the minute I walked through the door.

‘I hope and pray we can keep him. I desperately want to keep David Nugent at this club.

‘To be honest, I don’t know the latest on that.

‘I think there have been a couple of conversations between David Lampitt and his agent.

‘Like I said to Nuge the other day, we need to know what you want to do.

‘Hopefully he’s happy playing and hopefully he wants to stay.’

Nugent boasts a stunning scoring record against Ipswich and has won all four matches he has ever played at Portman Road.

It is a remarkable statistic, which prompted plenty of vitriol from the home fans throughout Saturday’s match.

His goal celebration to all ends of the ground after breaking the deadlock also didn’t do him many favours.

For Cotterill, though, it was another impressive showing in a long line of quality attacking displays from the 25-year-old this season.

He added: ‘It’s amazing how his run of goals has come.

‘You have favourite clubs you score against and Nuge’s is obviously Ipswich.

‘At the end there, Hayden Mullins had a knock on his knee and Joel Ward had a really tight calf – that’s why those two lads came off.

‘With Nuge, I just took him off because he’s a downright nuisance!

‘I saw what he did in the centre circle when he scored, that’s why I took him off. I wanted him to quieten down and wind his neck in a bit!

‘He’s now got 11 for the season but I wouldn’t set him targets because it puts pressure on him. Then you start snatching at things.

‘Just bit by bit we need him to get into the right areas of the pitch and once he does that he has to do the right thing.

‘He has managed to do that so far very well and hopefully that will continue.’