Norris eager for more of the Fratton experience

David Norris battles with Chelsea's Fernando Torres
David Norris battles with Chelsea's Fernando Torres
Pompey midfielder Danny Rose. Picture: Joe Pepler

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He’s only had a brief taste, but David Norris already likes what he sees from the Fratton faithful.

The former Ipswich midfielder joined the Blues on a free transfer over the summer and made his home debut in the recent 1-0 friendly defeat to Chelsea.

But with a bumper crowd of more than 19,000 for a non-competitive game, the 30-year-old believes the club’s supporters will again have an important role to play for the club this season – especially after hearing the reaction to his cameo moment with Chelsea’s Fernando Torres.

And after getting a glimpse of what he can expect over the course of his first season with the club, Norris is eager to get out on the pitch again for Saturday’s friendly encounter with Spanish La Liga outfit Real Betis.

He said: ‘I really noticed it in the Chelsea game when I had my little moment with Torres.

‘I ran off and could hear it had lifted the crowd and that really lifted me. I thought “this is decent!”

‘I nicked the ball off him because he turned into where I was, then he tried to get it back and I turned back on myself, did a sort of dragback and he went the wrong way.

‘It was nice to do it against a £50m striker. It’s one for the storybook and to tell the grandchildren, I suppose.’

Steve Cotterill paid tribute to the Blues fans on numerous occasions last term as their vocal backing dragged the team through some difficult spells throughout the campaign.

Norris, who played at Fratton Park for Ipswich last term in a 0-0 draw, believes Pompey fans’ backing for the team has become a key weapon and is a major attraction for players to sign for the club.

And, in contrast to some of his former clubs, he thinks his new team’s fans know how important they are to the side.

Norris explained: ‘The Pompey fans have got that reputation now and it was a big part of my decision to come here.

‘There are a lot of clubs where the fans don’t really seem to get behind their teams any more.

‘At other teams, you go a goal down and you get booed by your own fans.

‘But sometimes as a player, you need a boost if a game’s tight.

‘At other clubs they sometimes wait for their team to score, start moaning when it’s not going well and are only happy when it’s going well.

‘At Portsmouth they seem to get behind the team whatever is happening.

‘I know they even crank up the noise when their team goes a goal down sometimes and that’s brilliant.

‘If they see their players putting in a shift for them, even if things aren’t going well, they appreciate that.’