Norris: Being part of the new Pompey was worth the wait

David Norris in action against Bristol City's Marvin Elliott
David Norris in action against Bristol City's Marvin Elliott
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David Norris smiles when he recalls the protracted nature of his move to Pompey.

‘There was a lot of paper talk,’ said the Blues midfielder when he looks back. ‘But I knew where I stood with the manager.’

Norris’ faith in Steve Cotterill was what kept him going after being forced to wait to seal his move to Fratton Park from Ipswich.

News first surfaced that Norris was one of Cotterill’s key targets in January.

The uncertainty surrounding the club could easily have made it an edgy wait for the midfielder, as Convers Sports Initiatives’ takeover dragged on.

It was a full seven months from his name first being mooted to Norris’ arrival being officially inked.

After being given his word by Cotterill, he never doubted that joining the project of rebuilding a proud club from the bottom up would take place.

‘I think I knew where things were going here as I was waiting for things to be sorted,’ said Norris, who has already impressed with his hard-running performances this season.

‘It was just a case of seeing it out and waiting for my contract to finish – and then getting it sorted here.

‘When I met Steve, I liked him and I liked what he was saying.

‘There was a lot things going on in between, but we knew where it was going and what was going to happen.

‘It was fine. The gaffer kept reassuring me and keeping me in the loop about where things were.

‘I was happy with that. I went away on holiday before I signed and was comfortable it was going to be done when I came back. That’s what happened.

‘The club has had a tough, tough few years.

‘One of the attractions of coming here was to be part of turning this club around.

‘That was something I wanted to be a part of.

‘It’s started well and, hopefully, we can get things moving this season.’

Norris was announced as the first arrival of the CSI era after they assumed control of the club in June.

And it is being part of their brave, new world and putting Pompey back together again that was a big appeal of moving to Fratton Park.

That, the former Ipswich man is sure, will be a gradual process after the swathe of problems afflicting the club in its recent past.

Norris has been impressed by the level-headed attitude among fans, who have eschewed the demand for mega-money spending that often accompanies new owners.

He sees himself being part of a long-term plan after signing a three year deal.

And that blueprint culminates with the player carving out a career at the highest level.

Norris said: ‘No-one is going crazy because there are new owners.

‘People aren’t saying we are going to be top of the league and buy all the best players.

‘The owners have gone about it the right way.

‘They are slowly going to get the club back on an even keel.

‘They want the club to be secure for the future

‘To be part of turning it around and taking the club to better times was an attraction. This club has history. It sounds like a cliché but it’s true.

‘This club stood out for me as a place I wanted to come and play.

‘I’ve haven’t travelled too much in my career. I was at Plymouth for five and half years and then Ipswich for three and a half.

‘It a massive move. I’m 30 and I’ve got three years here, so this is my chance to hopefully get a taste of the Premier League.

‘Hopefully, that’s what is going to happen here over the next couple of years.’

Norris has been impressed with the quality of the squad he has integrated himself into since joining Pompey.

The performances so far have been of a fluctuating level, however, with Cotterill’s men showing promise at times and plumbing the depths on occasion.

Norris highlighted the need to find regular, solid form over the coming weeks along with a few new faces.

He said: ‘We need a few more players, but we have a good manager.

‘We’ll wait and see how it happens. We have a decent group and the manager will try to add to that by the end of the window to give us a chance.

‘There’s a lot experience and players who have done well in the Premier League.

‘There are good players here. It’s a matter of going out and being consistent now.’