Pompey boss hails attacking aces

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Steve Cotterill hailed his attacking aces who shot Pompey to a 2-0 victory at Norwich City.

There may be selection clouds hovering above the Blues boss' head, but he could not be happier with strikers Dave Kitson and David Nugent.

Kitson finally got back on the scoresheet after a confidence-sapping eight games without a goal, while it was strike-partner Nugent – switched to a wide role in the second half – who was the chief architect of Norwich's downfall.

Kitson found a vital yard of space in the box to convert Nugent's low cross after a terrific run had seen him tear through down the right flank.

And Nugent did it again deep into stoppage time as he darted into the box to be chopped down by Leon Barnett when others would have headed for the corner flag to waste a few seconds.

Barnett was soon given his marching orders and Greg Halford slotted home the penalty to seal the points.

While Nugent appears to be brimming with confidence, Kitson's morale now looks to have been given a welcome shot in the arm.

Cotterill said: 'I think everybody is a confidence player. Even the best players in the world can't always play like they want to play.

'Kits probably needed one for his own form and he would be the first to admit that he's had a bit of a lean period.

'If you don't score goals as a striker, it drags you down.

'Hopefully that will have given him a lift. It will give him a big boost.

'It was a great run and cross from Nugent and when he (Kitson) went across the box, I knew he would score because he has that quality.

'Let's be honest about it, he probably hasn't been Dave Kitson for about a month now and it happens to strikers when they don't score. But it's really good for him.'

For Nugent – so long the Pompey misfit whose confidence appeared to be shot to pieces after previous managers cast him aside – it's a new lease of life that marks him out as one of the most dangerous players in the Championship.

He appears to have found an extra yard of pace and also revelled in winding up the Norwich fans after being awarded a penalty and celebrating exuberantly with the travelling supporters.

It's a sure sign that a player is enjoying himself when he's keen to court the abuse from opposition fans.

Cotterill smiled: 'It's become a bit of a joke now but his first words to me when he bounced through the door were "I'm back at my level now".

'That's the type of character he is – he is a very humble boy. I'm pleased for him.

'Looking from the outside, nobody will really know him.

'But he is a great kid, he is an energiser and he brings a lot to the table in the dressing room.

'We felt that Nuge would be a threat out there on the right in the second half and, luckily enough, it worked for us.'