'Joining Birmingham was a regret, I wish I had never gone. I wanted to stay at Portsmouth': Erik Huseklepp

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The Norwegian scored twice in 11 appearances for the St Andrew’s club while on loan

Erik Huseklepp has spoken of his ‘regret’ at being forced out of Fratton Park to join Birmingham.

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Team-mates Liam Lawrence (Cardiff) and Hayden Mullins (Reading) departed in similar circumstances, with cash-strapped Pompey earning loan fees as a consequence.

Erik Huseklepp had a disappointing loan spell at Birmingham in 2011-12 after being told to join by Pompey. Picture: Jan Kruger/Getty ImagesErik Huseklepp had a disappointing loan spell at Birmingham in 2011-12 after being told to join by Pompey. Picture: Jan Kruger/Getty Images
Erik Huseklepp had a disappointing loan spell at Birmingham in 2011-12 after being told to join by Pompey. Picture: Jan Kruger/Getty Images | Getty Images

Huseklepp subsequently netted on his full debut for Birmingham in a 2-2 draw with Derby, yet started just four matches for the St Andrew’s club.

In total, he scored twice in 11 appearances during an unhappy stay in the Midlands - and admits he wished he had never gone there.

He told The News: ‘I regret leaving for Birmingham, I would have performed better had I stayed at Pompey.

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‘I didn’t want to go there, but when the manager (Michael Appleton) said I should leave, it made it easy for me.

‘I went into the manager’s office and he told me Birmingham wanted me on loan, but I really hoped he would then say “But I want you to stay”. Had I the chance, I would have stayed at Pompey.

‘Appleton was the reason I left - and Birmingham didn’t go too well. I scored twice and some games it went okay, but I didn’t really get the same rhythm I had at Pompey.

‘I didn’t play as well as I hoped I would, I was not too happy with my performances at Birmingham, I can admit that. I was a lot more satisfied with the road I was starting on with Pompey.

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Erik Huseklepp was a Pompey favourite in 2011-12 following his £1.5m arrival from Bari. Picture: Steve ReidErik Huseklepp was a Pompey favourite in 2011-12 following his £1.5m arrival from Bari. Picture: Steve Reid
Erik Huseklepp was a Pompey favourite in 2011-12 following his £1.5m arrival from Bari. Picture: Steve Reid | Steve Reid

‘At Birmingham you felt there was more than one club in the city and the atmosphere in the games was not as good as Pompey. I have to be honest.

‘Pompey was a much better place for me than Birmingham.’

His direct wing play and six goals in 28 appearances also caught the eye of Birmingham, who secured a loan deal for the second half of the 2011-12 campaign.

Despite returning to Fratton Park upon its completion, Huseklepp never played for Pompey again. Instead he was sold to former club Brann in July 2012.

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He added: ‘For me, money isn’t the most important thing about playing football. I really enjoyed playing football and really enjoyed my time at Pompey.

‘I felt my game getting better every day at Pompey, so I wanted to stay there for my football career.

‘For Pompey I had scored goals and performed very well in a lot of games, so to change clubs again, I didn’t really want to do that.’

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