Norris aims to continue prolific form

112358_PFC_TRAINING_04/07/11''Portsmouth Football Club first team players return for pre-season training at PFC training ground, Stoneham Lane, Eastleigh. ''Picture: Allan Hutchings (112358-944)''David Norris number 11
112358_PFC_TRAINING_04/07/11''Portsmouth Football Club first team players return for pre-season training at PFC training ground, Stoneham Lane, Eastleigh. ''Picture: Allan Hutchings (112358-944)''David Norris number 11
Fan-funder Steve McLenaghan cuts the ribbon to officially open the Tifosy pitches at Pompeys Copnor Road training base. Also included are, from left, James Pollock, Tifosy, Blues chief executive Mark Catlin, manager Kenny Jackett, academy boss Mark Kelly and Lord Mayor of Portsmouth Ken Ellcome. Fans were also present at the opening ceremony

Football’s reaping success from Pompey pioneers

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At the age of 29, David Norris reinvented himself.

Now the newly-crowned goal-scoring midfielder is desperate to ensure it is no flash in the pan.

Pompey’s new recruit bagged 11 goals in 43 games for Ipswich last term.

That was more than he registered in the previous three campaigns put together.

Norris revelled in a more advanced centre midfield role initially presented to him by Roy Keane and then retained by Paul Jewell.

With a greater emphasis on attacking rather than being the sitting player, it reaped spectacular dividends.

Previously, he averaged 3.45 goals a season.

Now he has arrived at Fratton Park as a midfielder with a prolific eye for goal.

Norris could make his Blues bow at the Hawks tonight in the first friendly of the pre-season.

That is if he recovers from a knock sustained in training on Saturday.

Regardless, Steve Cotterill has promised to keep him in the role which has seen him flourish.

Norris said: ‘Last season was my best in terms of scoring goals.

‘I had a bit of a licence to go for-ward and found myself in and around the box a lot more.

‘Luckily it paid off.

‘Instead of making 20 runs and getting one chance, I was making 30-40 runs, getting two or three chances and managing to get a goal.

‘In the past, when I played in a 4-4-2 I tended to be a sitter with the other going forward.

‘Whereas last year we played 4-3-3 and I was told to be the one breaking into the box.

‘Roy Keane started it off by putting me in a more advanced role and then Paul Jewell kept me there.

‘I had never scored more than seven in a season before but last year things fell for me, my timing was a little bit better and it came off.

‘I have always liked to get forward, I just haven’t had as much joy or as much license to in the past.

‘None was a penalty or really from distance.

‘They were more the edge of the box or in the box, but it was a good goal-scoring season.

‘I have spoken to the manager here and he wants me to keep trying to get into the box and getting forward.

‘Hopefully I will have the same amount of fortune here.’

Norris will be among a clutch of summer recruits pushing to line up against Shaun Gale’s side tonight.

However, Liam Lawrence, Hermann Hreidarsson and Tal Ben Haim returned to training only on Friday.

In addition, Kanu is expected back later this week.

For Norris, though, tonight represents the chance of a first outing for Pompey.

And, if fit, he is hopeful of being given the chance to shine in his favoured central midfield role.

He added: ‘I play where the manager wants me to play, but I do prefer in the centre.

‘Whether it is in a two or a three, I don’t really mind. Three gives me more licence to get forward but I’ll play wherever.

‘I have never played on the left, I played on the right a couple of times but it was mainly in the middle.’