Cotterill’s home comfort

David Cotterill in training
David Cotterill in training
Dion Donohue. Picture: Joe Pepler

Donohue backed to be Pompey attacking asset

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Steve Cotterill believes Pompey are ready to right the wrongs of their recent winless home run.

The Blues have not tasted victory at Fratton Park since the 2-1 win over Nottingham Forest on October 30 – seven games ago – as they prepare to host Barnsley tomorrow.

While the run has encompassed four draws and three defeats on home soil, the Blues boss insists there are reasons behind the harsh facts of four points from a possible 21 in front of the Fratton faithful.

Cotterill said: ‘There are one million and one reasons and none of them have been excuses.

‘If you look back over the period of time, we haven’t had that many home games.

‘It’s been very lop-sided because we’ve had games called off.

‘So going back to our last win, we haven’t had a lot of games since then.

‘Our last win was October 30 and everybody goes “Oh no – October, November, December, January, February”.

‘We’ve only had seven games, drawn four and lost three. If you look a bit deeper into those games, there was easily a win in those games.

‘There was only the Burnley game that we’ve lost and absolutely deserved to lose.

‘There have been a lot of reasons and I always say those reasons at the time.

‘But when you get on a run, people end up forgetting those reasons that were true at the time.

‘It would be fantastic to get the win – then everyone would stop talking about it.’

Aside from the fixture list and weather disruption, Cotterill has pointed to the selection problems he has faced during that time as he revealed that new loan signing David Cotterill now gives him the option of reverting to a 4-4-2 formation.

He said: ‘In that run, we’ve had the issues with Brown and Hughes.

‘Kitson, Dickinson, Moko-ena, Halford and now Hogg have all been suspended and that’s without any of the injuries.

‘We’ve had a lot of players not available during that period.

‘I would perhaps agree the 4-3-3 system is better set up to play away from home.

‘But it’s been pretty difficult to get to 4-4-2 at this club for about the past three months.

‘(David) Cotterill’s arrival gives me that opportunity.’

The Swansea winger is set to make his Blues debut, having trained with the club all week, and looks likely to be handed a starting role on the left of midfield.

The Blues boss said: ‘He’s trained with us for a couple of days now and the paperwork has been submitted to the Football League so he can play.

‘He’s a wide player who can play both sides and also play off the striker.

‘It’s good for us that he can play in those positions because it gives us flexibility.

‘He’s behind two of the best wide players in the league at Swansea, who are doing very well this season.

‘So quite where he is with his football, we’re not sure.

‘We won’t know that until he plays.

‘He’s initially with us until March 19 until the international break.

‘He’ll be in the squad against Barnsley.’