Jewell bears no Norris grudges

Joe Hancott in action for Pompey Reserves against Southend. Picture: Colin Farmery

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Paul Jewell insists he’ll have no hard feelings when he comes face-to-face with David Norris tonight.

Pompey travel to Portman Road looking to make it back-to-back victories.

And among the Blues’ ranks will be former Ipswich favourite Norris.

The 30-year-old walked out on the Tractor Boys in the summer when his contract expired.

He turned down the offer of a new deal in favour of a three-year offer at Fratton Park.

It brought an end to a three-year spell at Ipswich, during which time Norris made 118 appearances and scored 16 goals.

It remains to be seen what the reaction of the Portman Road crowd will be tonight towards the midfielder.

But Jewell certainly doesn’t bear any grudges.

He said: ‘I have to say, with Chuck (Norris), I have no problem with what happened.

‘Chuck wanted to stay but he had a fantastic offer from Portsmouth. I remember him coming to my office and saying “I don’t really want to leave Ipswich”.

‘He’d been offered a three-year contract, which we wouldn’t match, and he just told me “I can’t really turn it down”. I fully agreed with him.

‘I didn’t think any supporter would ever accuse him of not trying his best here.

‘Every game, every training session, he was a complete model professional.

‘This is a job, though. He got a great offer and I think everyone understood that he had to take it. That’s life.

‘Right to the last game he played for us – he always gave everything.

‘He’s a terrific player, a terrific pro and one of those who I am sure will get a good reception upon his return.

‘Our crowd clap everybody so they’ll definitely welcome Chuck back, I’m sure,

‘It was our fault, for whatever reason, that we let the contract situation go on for so long.

‘It might happen again this season with some players, I don’t know.

‘He’s one of the best pros I’ve worked with. He’s a terrific lad.’

Norris netted his third Pompey goal in 12 matches on Saturday against Barnsley.