Lawrence: My sharpness is coming back

Liam Lawrence tries to get round Leicester skipper Matt Mills
Liam Lawrence tries to get round Leicester skipper Matt Mills
Pompey striker Conor Chaplin struggles to hide his disappointment

Southend 3-1 Pompey: They said what?

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Liam Lawrence feels his old sharpness is coming back after producing his best Blues display since returning from injury.

The Pompey skipper was a driving force from the left of the midfield at Leicester, setting David Norris away with a clever flick in the build up to Marko Futacs’ opening goal.

And the Republic of Ireland international looked fit again after his recent ankle injury in an impressive performance.

While the former Stoke man has endured a dreadful 2011 with a succession of injuries, he believes he is due a change of fortune in 2012 ahead of today’s home clash with Watford.

Lawrence said: ‘I seriously hope 2012 is going to be better for me. I’m just getting my fitness back again and I felt I did better again (against Leicester).

‘If I can get a run of games under my belt, people will see the best of me again.

‘I felt better last week against Millwall when I went into the middle of the park and I felt more improvement against Leicester.’

Lawrence made a return to the side for the recent south coast derby clash with Southampton and admitted he’d struggled to recapture his old form.

He said: ‘Against Southampton, I have never, ever felt like that in a game.

‘I came back and trained for a couple of days and then played, but it was hard work.

‘I couldn’t get my touch, my passing was off and it wasn’t me.

‘I was just terrible. I was like Bambi on ice.

‘I’m an honest fella and I said to the gaffer afterwards “Sorry about that. I don’t know what was up with me”.

‘It can be tough to come back after a while out but I feel like I’m starting to find passes again and I was involved in quite a lot of the good stuff.

‘So I’m looking to stay fit and get sharper and sharper with a few more games under my belt.’

While Lawrence missed the recent defeat at Watford in Michael Appleton’s first game in charge, he believes Pompey can exact some revenge on the Hornets in today’s encounter.

He said: ‘I can’t see us playing like that again. That was a poor day so we definitely owe them one at Fratton Park.’

n Pompey will hold a minute’s silence before today’s game against Watford in memory of former Blues hero Len Phillips who passed away last month.