Cotterill: That’s for you

Steve Cotterill
Steve Cotterill
Nathan Thompson has served his four-match suspension Picture: Joe Pepler

Pompey boss weighs up role for returning duo

Have your say

Steve Cotterill has dedicated the scintillating triumph over Reading to Pompey’s owners.

The Blues turned on the style last night to defeat Brian McDermott’s promotion hopefuls.

Dave Kitson grabbed the only goal of the game as Cotterill’s men finally got their season up and running.

For Pompey’s boss, it was a poignant moment as the club prepare to today complete the signing of Erik Huseklepp.

Convers Sports Initiatives (CSI) are set to splash out £1.5m to capture the exciting Norwegian international.

Huseklepp, who was at Fratton last night to witness the exhilarating display, will pen a three-year deal once he passes a medical.

It is another demonstration of CSI’s spending power, which has already brought Greg Halford, Luke Varney and Jason Pearce to the south coast.

And after the Blues’ maiden win of the season, Cotterill was quick to pay tribute to the owners.

He said: ‘I thought the players were fantastic, every one of them, each to a man.

‘As bad as all 11 of them were against Barnet, they were equally as good last night.

‘I’m pleased for the owners because, I’ll tell you now, they have spent a lot of money since they came here.

‘But they have not seen a performance like that or any reward. I have had unequivocal support from them since they came through the door.

‘So I am really pleased for them to see that last night.

‘I’m also pleased for the fans because I am always pleased for our fans, wherever they are. I thought they made it as well.

‘They were jumping and there was a little something about them.

‘It was a good night all round.

‘Reading are a good team, they went all the way to the play-off final and know each other inside out.

‘That was a big result for us and one I felt we deserved.’

It was a first win in 12 matches for Pompey – a run stretching back to March.

In addition, Kitson’s 51st-minute strike marked a first Blues goal at Fratton Park for 529 minutes. The victory now provides a crucial platform for Cotterill’s men to build on as they head to Bristol City on Saturday.

And the Blues boss was full of praise for his side.

He added: ‘They are a great bunch of lads.

‘I don’t like having the hump with them – and I had the hump with them for a little while.

‘I didn’t have the hump with them after Saturday because we deserved to get something out of that game.

‘Last night I thought we were well worth the three points.

We created a lot of chances. We created some on Saturday against Brighton as well and I am really, really pleased for the lads.

‘It was a really good team performance.’