Cotterill backs striker to build on wonder strike

Dave Kitson celebrates his strike against Scunthorpe
Dave Kitson celebrates his strike against Scunthorpe
Jamal Lowe in action at Southend. Picture: Joe Pepler

Jackett lays down Pompey goal challenge to Lowe

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He has endured a confidence crisis and criticism from his own fans.

Now Dave Kitson has been tipped to use his special Scunthorpe strike to get his Pompey career back on track.

Heading into the midweek fixture, the striker had netted just two goals in his previous 19 appearances.

But he struck in the 62nd minute against the Iron with a classy finish to post another reminder of what his talents can produce.

There can be no faulting Kitson’s effort and work-rate, qualities which have seen him rewarded with the captaincy in recent weeks.

Now Pompey need goals and Blues boss Steve Cotterill believes the former Stoke man is ready to oblige.

He said: ‘I’m really pleased for Kits because he’s put in a lot of hard work lately that gets unseen. We know he has worked hard because the stats tell us.

‘He ends up being back in our box at every corner and every wide free-kick because he’s 6ft 3in.

‘Sometimes you look at Kits and, because he is so tall, he appears to be all arms and legs here, there and everywhere but he’s really got good feet.

‘He strikes the ball cleanly with both feet and if it had been on the left-hand side, he can strike it just as clean.

‘I thought it was great feet for that goal (against Scunthorpe). He had great awareness around him. He actually opened his body because he knew he could, as opposed to sometimes players of lesser ability would have shielded that ball when it was played into him.

‘But he opened his body, let it run across him, great first touch, great second touch and goal.

‘It was difficult as well, especially when you are under pressure out there and have defenders chasing you – and, by the way, there were a few big defenders out there chasing him.

‘I am really pleased for him and it was a great finish, an absolutely great finish.

‘I think he has been through a real confidence crisis.

‘But he has got a couple of goals of late and, hopefully, that will keep him on a good run.’

Kitson now has seven goals in 28 games since joining from Stoke.