Winger backed to energise Pompey

David Cotterill in action for Wales
David Cotterill in action for Wales
Conor Chaplin in action against Northampton. Picture: Joe Pepler

Pompey’s Checkatrade kick-off time rescheduled

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He was once a £2m teenager in the Premier League playground.

Now Steve Cotterill is looking for David Cotterill’s youthful exuberance to revitalise his side and fire them up the table.

It is difficult to believe the in-demand player is still aged just 23.

Once a highly-sought-after prodigy at Bristol City, Cotterill has developed into a well-travelled footballer following subsequent stop offs at Wigan, Sheffield United and, of course, the Swans.

This week he added the Blues to the ever-lengthening list of clubs – although the move is still to be rubber-stamped.

For Steve Cotterill, the winger represents loan number six in his threadbare squad.

There is a maximum of five loanees permitted in the 18-strong match-day squad. But with Jonathan Hogg suspended for Barnsley’s visit on Saturday, that is not a concern.

Regardless, namesake Cotterill offers him energy and youth – characteristics he believes are crucial to the make-up of his side.

The likes of Hogg and Ritchie Laet, both 22 years old, have already made big impacts since joining on loan in January.

They are backed up by 21-year-old Joel Ward, whose form in a number of roles has been such a revelation.

And Steve Cotterill is banking on the Welsh international’s boyish enthusiasm to have a similar effect during a potential stay until the season’s end.

He said: ‘David can play on the left or the right or just off the striker.

‘He gives us that flexibility that we need – something we don’t have since John Utaka left.

‘He’s only a young boy and I like what the young lads have brought to us.

‘What they do is give you good energy in the side, that enthusiasm. I like having them in there.

‘The players we have brought in – Ritchie de Laet, Jonathan Hogg – have injected that exuberance in there. Carl Dickinson also had lots of energy when he first arrived.

‘Not that I’ve got anything against the older lads. I just like having young ones in there as well, giving you something else to the side.

‘Of course, the young lads also take less time to recover after games, which at this moment in time is important.

‘Obviously, we have got games thick and fast over the next month.

‘We’ve got seven games in 22 days, going Saturday, Tuesday, Saturday, Tuesday, Saturday.

‘We need all the bodies and energy we can get because it’s going to be tough on our squad.

‘The young ones have done well for us and hopefully that will continue to be the case.’

Cotterill has made just 12 starts for Swansea this season.

Such has been his fall out of favour, he has failed to make Brend-an Rodgers’ last seven squads.

His last appearance was a start in a 2-1 defeat to Leicester City on January 3.

Yet, the former Wigan winger impressed in his first day training with Pompey on Tuesday.

He is now due to feature in Saturday’s clash with Barnsley.

And Pompey’s boss believes he won’t let anybody down.

Steve Cotterill added: ‘We’ll give David a few games and see how he gets up to speed.

‘He looked very bright in training Tuesday morning, for sure.

‘He’s not had a lot of a look in at Swansea recently because they have two of the best wingers in the league in Nathan Dyer and Scott Sinclair.

‘I hope David can come down and enjoy himself like the rest of the loanees have done this year.’