Halford to mark Pompey second coming

111367-911_CARDIFF_POMPEY_SR_16/4/11'Cardiff City vs Pompey.'Greg Halford track Jay Bothroyd.''Picture:Steve Reid 111367-911
111367-911_CARDIFF_POMPEY_SR_16/4/11'Cardiff City vs Pompey.'Greg Halford track Jay Bothroyd.''Picture:Steve Reid 111367-911
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From left to right: Jamal Lowe, Adam May, Christian Burgess and Matt Clarke after Pompey's loss to Blackpool. Picture: Joe Pepler

Pompey 0 Blackpool 2: they said what?

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Greg Halford will tonight mark his Pompey second coming as Steve Cotterill unleashes his summer recruits.

And England under-17 starlet Sam Magri is also pencilled in to feature at the Hawks for the Blues’ first pre-season friendly (7.45pm).

Halford last week returned to Fratton Park on a permanent basis after signing a three-year deal from Wolves.

His move was one of three transfers completed by Pompey in a busy week as Cotterill’s recruitment drive continues.

The versatile defender will now line up against the Hawks tonight, alongside fellow new boys Luke Varney and Stephen Henderson.

Jason Pearce will also play, following his recent £300,000 arrival from Bournemouth.

However, David Norris picked up a knock in training on Saturday and Cotterill will leave it late before deciding on his involvement.

There will also be the opportunity for Magri to shine following his impressive Under-17 World Cup campaign for England this summer.

He is one of four youngsters in the squad for West Leigh Park, with Lewis Stockford, Ryan Williams and Lewis Tallack also included.

And Cotterill is relishing stepping up his pre-season programme.

He said: ‘All the new lads will be there and all will be playing.

‘Some will be out of position but we haven’t got a lot of choice with that at the minute as we are still under strength.

‘Greg Halford will definitely start for us.

‘As the season went on last year, I thought Greg got better and better and we are pleased to have him over the line.

‘The other lads who have come in have been equally as impressive in training and Stephen Henderson, Jason Pearce, David Norris and Luke Varney will also feature.

‘David Norris picked up a bit of a knock on Saturday morning, but hopefully he will be able to play some part of the game.

‘There have been three or four young players who were training with us last week and they will be there as well.

‘So that’s Lewis Tallack, Lewis Stockford, Ryan Williams and Sam Magri. Billy Goddard will not be playing, though, as he is just training with us.

‘We are short on numbers still.

‘And we certainly won’t have lots of substitutes.

‘I would imagine a lot of the players out there tonight will be playing a lot of minutes.

‘We have not got a lot of choice really.’

Liam Lawrence, Hermann Hreidarsson and Tal Ben Haim are not expected to feature having returned to training only last Friday.

They were given additional time off having played international football over the summer.

Kanu will also not be present, although he is scheduled to return this week and may play against Chelsea at the weekend.

And Cotterill is pleased with how pre-season is so far panning out.

He added ‘We have had a great week’s training under our belts.

‘It has been really tough and after a well-earned day off yesterday and we will crack on again today.

‘Liam Lawrence, Hermann and Tal Ben Haim have done a couple of days training but the other lads are ahead of them.

‘Everyone has worked extremely hard this week and it has been really positive.’