Kitson is ‘ready’ for an instant return

Dave Kitson is set to start against QPR tonight
Dave Kitson is set to start against QPR tonight
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Liam Lawrence helping out in the ticket office at Fratton Park

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Dave Kitson is ready to be granted an instant recall for tonight’s trip to QPR.

That is the verdict of Steve Cotterill, who has earmarked the striker for a start on his return from suspension.

Kitson has sat out the past three matches following his dismissal for violent conduct against Brighton earlier this month.

Since that FA Cup tie, John Utaka struck form with goals in two successive matches in a more advanced attacking role.

Now the Nigeria international has been sold to Montpellier, hampering Pompey’s striking options.

But Cotterill believes Kitson is ready to come back into the side.

And he would have no hesitation in naming the former Stoke man in his line-up at Loftus Road.

Cotterill said: ‘While he’s been out, Dave has done everything that anyone else has. He will have done more running after training than anyone else.

‘He has also been given regular fitness top-ups by Chris Neville (fitness coach) at the end of sessions.

‘The only thing different is game time.

‘You just have to see where we are with that one with regards to fitness.

‘We haven’t had a lot of selection choices all season, so this game is no different.’

Kitson has scored five goals since joining from Stoke, the last coming at Norwich on December 11.