Portsmouth's Lee Brown gives the credit to Ronan Curtis as set-pieces light up win over Norwich

Lee Brown gave Ronan Curtis the props in a tale of two pre-season free-kicks.

Saturday, 15th August 2020, 2:02 pm

The Blues got their build-up to the 2020-21 season off to a perfect start with a 2-0 victory over Norwich Under-23s at the Five Lakes Resort in Essex today.

Brown’s free-kick opened the scoring from 20 yards in the 30th minute, before Curtis followed suit four minutes later.

It was a useful test for Kenny Jackett’s men who played a completely different side in each half.

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Brown was pleased to get on the scoresheet - but was happy to give Curtis the credit for scoring the better of the two set-pieces.

He said: ‘It’s got to be Ronan’s which was better, I suppose!

‘I called Ronan’s one actually, because the keeper was always going to protect that side after letting one in.

‘So I said go the other side because he’s going to gamble and that’s what happened - though, maybe we should be saving them for the season!

Lee Brown after today's win. Pic: Max Swatton

‘It was a really good free-kick from Ronan, though.’

It’s been 39 days since the penalty shootout loss to Oxford United and Brown was satisfied with the level he and his team-mates returned at after the week’s training camp.

It’s an unusually short pre-season scenario for football in general amid the coronavirus crisis, but the man who signed a new two-year contract last week feels two further warm-up games will leave Pompey ready for competitive action on September 5.

He added: ‘It was a good workout. Everyone got 45 minutes and after four or five weeks off it was good to get the legs going again.

‘You can do as much training as you want, but it’s the games that help you with getting your distances and passes in relation to other people on a full pitch.

‘Where we were working so hard before, we’ve almost had to use the break this summer as a break and not try to train too hard.

‘Normally you’d have a bit of a break and start running again, but where it was such a long season we needed to use the break to switch off.

‘They were a good opposition and then we step things up next week against Brighton before we play Bristol City.

‘I’m sure that will be enough because we don’t really need a long, long pre-season.

‘It’s going to be two or three games and straight into for most people - and that will be fine.’

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