Lawrence is Cotts’ flexible friend

Liam Lawrence
Liam Lawrence
Christian Burgess, left, and the Pompey squad pay their respects to Cyrille Regis before Saturday's clash at Rotherham. Picture: Joe Pepler

Pompey defender pays tribute to key influence Regis

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Pompey boss Steve Cotterill welcomed the flexibility Liam Lawrence’s return will afford his men for the crucial run-in.

Lawrence made his first start for a month in the success at Leicester last weekend.

The 29-year-old showed his calf problems were behind him at the Walkers Stadium.

Cotterill employed Lawrence at the front end of midfield as Joel Ward made way.

The Republic of Ireland international was then utilised on the right after Ward entered the fray in the second half.

Lawrence’s presence has given Cotterill the rare luxury of options.

The Blues boss feels he will benefit by being involved with Ireland in their European Championship qualifier against Macedonia this weekend.

Cotterill said: ‘We needed to get Liam back into the fold. It was a difficult decision to leave Wardy out last weekend because I think he has been great.

‘But we knew Wardy was going to play some part in the game and are really pleased with his development.

‘Liam was excellent, we are very pleased we got him through 90 minutes.

‘He has gone off in the international break which will actually do him good because he can get a little bit of training under his belt which he hasn’t done for the past month or so.

‘We have needed that flexibility – we haven’t got enough players to be flexible.

‘We can’t take strikers off when they don’t work.

‘We would like to take one off and put another on. I guess that’s what made it more pleasing to get the win.’

Meanwhile, Tom Kilbey has joined Lincoln on loan until the end of the season.

Kilbey has made three substitute appearances this season, scoring one goal.