No home comforts for winger on Cardiff return

Pompey's on-loan winger David Cotterill
Pompey's on-loan winger David Cotterill
Joe Hancott in action for Pompey Reserves against Southend. Picture: Colin Farmery

Harris hails Pompey Reserves’ performance

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David Cotterill returns to Cardiff tomorrow looking to inject life into his campaign against his hometown club.

Cotterill will expect to ride a gauntlet of hate as he steps out at the Cardiff City Stadium against the Bluebirds.

His association with Pompey’s opponents will count for nothing in the clash, with the home fans focusing on the fact the on-loan winger’s parent club is their hated rivals Swansea.

Cotterill has already felt the full force of the intensity of that relationship, after his parent’s home was vandalised when they previously met.

The 23-year-old will aim to find his own feet tomorrow as Pompey continue their finale to their Championship campaign.

Any lingering hopes of making the play-offs were extinguished following Tuesday’s comprehensive 3-0 defeat to Coventry.

But Cotterill and many others have plenty to play for still, as they look to catch the eye over the remainder of the season.

The Welsh international’s form has dipped after a flying start, following his arrival at the club.

Steve Cotterill puts that down to the winger’s curse of often drifting in and out of games.

However, he stated the player still has a big role to play over the rest of the campaign.

Boss Cotterill said: ‘You can be in the game and out of the game as a winger.

‘I think it doesn’t help when you are that type of player.

‘Unfortunately for him, he got taken off at Reading because I wanted to go with a 4-3-2 and keep two up top.

‘It was difficult to keep him on when we had our three in the middle already.

‘He was unfortunate with that and the goal he got against Preston was a perfectly good goal.

‘He has perhaps dipped a little bit but I think that’s what happens with those type of players.

‘He is a whippy-type winger and they can be very in and out. That’s where they are.

‘There are five games left between now and the end of the season and he’s been involved with 11 since being here.

‘That’s 11 more than he would have been involved with at Swansea.

‘He came in and started very well.

‘He scored at Ipswich and set a couple up and he was unlucky not to score against Preston.

‘He has had a quiet time of late but we will be looking at all things over the next few games.

‘There is the Easter weekend coming up, too, so all players will be used between now and the end of the season.’

Cotterill’s arrival at Pompey on emergency loan in February boosted a threadbare squad which was short of options out wide following the departure of John Utaka to Montpellier.

It also meant, however, a loan signing had to drop out of the squad, with only five of the six temporary additions allowed to be named on a matchday.

It is just another example of the juggling act manager Cotterill has had to undergo this season.

And he is determined lessons are learned on the recruitment front moving forward.

Cotterill said: ‘It’s not easy finding someone wide as we had to a few weeks ago.

‘What you have to bear in mind is that when we brought someone in we’ve had to leave players out.

‘Working with five and six loan players from August is bordering on ridiculous.

‘If you get one or two at the beginning of the season who will be good for the whole season then no problem.

‘But for all of them to be in the team you have problems if you get injuries.

‘I’d like five next season but 20 permanents before them.

‘Those loans had to be in this season’s 20 when we were getting rid of all the others.

‘Nothing’s changed really from coming out of administration.

‘From the first three months to what happened after, it hasn’t been different really.

‘The only way it would have been different would have been if we bought someone in the transfer window but we sold.

‘That was the only way we would strengthen because we couldn’t have more loans.’