Norris: Pompey don’t need influx of new signings

David Norris feels a smaller squad can help boost morale
David Norris feels a smaller squad can help boost morale
Kenny Jackett. Picture: Joe Pepler

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David Norris insists Pompey do not need a huge influx of new players to be a Championship force this season.

The new Blues midfielder signed on a free transfer this summer after leaving Ipswich Town.

And despite seeing a squad lacking in numbers upon his arrival, Norris has seen enough quality to believe that Pompey can mount a serious challenge this term.

Boss Steve Cotterill wants to add another five players to the ranks to take him to a 20-man squad that can cope with the demands of the Championship campaign.

Burnley striker Martin Paterson is among his top targets, although his club appear to be playing hardball amid reports of Pompey’s £2m bid.

Cotterill is understandably keen to keep his cards close to his chest on any transfer activity.

But he is believed to be on the trail of young Chelsea left-back Patrick van Aanholt, while fellow Stamford Bridge starlet Ryan Betrand could also be in the frame.

But Norris believes a big squad can actually be detrimental to success.

He said: ‘You get injuries, suspensions and there are a lot of games in our league so you are going to need a reasonable squad. But it doesn’t have to be huge.

‘I know the gaffer is after at least another two or three players to come in and possibly more.

‘It was a big squad at Ipswich but that means some players are unhappy that they are not playing and not involved every week.

‘If you keep it to a decent number, you have a close-knit squad and it can make a big difference to team spirit. Everyone feels a part of it.’

The Blues currently have a 15-man first-team squad, although youngsters Ryan Williams and Lewis Stockford have boosted their playing ranks on their pre-season trip to the USA.

And despite introducing himself to just eight new faces on his first day of training with his new club, Norris had no qualms about his move to Fratton Park.

He said: ‘On my first day at the club there were only nine players there.

‘People had said that there wouldn’t be too many other players, but even then I was thinking “it’s a good nine players, though!”

‘It honestly didn’t worry me.

‘I know if the manager can do his bit, we’ve got a very good core of players here. I knew that anyway before I came here.’

Norris has already been impressed by the togetherness in the ranks as he settles into life with his new team-mates.

He said: ‘I feel like I have settled in really well with the lads and I’ve enjoyed the training.

‘It’s been great for me to get away on the tour with everyone and get to know them.’

Meanwhile, it is understood that Pompey will not profit from former Blues star Matt Taylor’s transfer to West Ham.

The winger joined the Upton Park outfit for around £2m this week but the Blues did not have a sell-on clause when they sold him to Bolton in 2007.