Portsmouth boss plots Pompey’s promotion course

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Portsmouth have completed the signing of Derby forward Luke Varney, as Steve Cotterill looks to bolster his strike force in readiness of a serious promotion push this season.

The Pompey boss is keen to put a disappointing campaign behind him and the play-offs will be the minimum requirement next time out for the south coast club.

Colchester has been quite active in the transfer market of late, signing keeper Stephen Henderson after the 23-year-old was released from Bristol City as a free agent.

"It's great to get the pair of them. They're good lads," the Portsmouth boss told The News. “What they will provide is competition which is what we want all over our squad.

“All the people we are in for this summer are top, top lads, good players or have good potential.”

As Cotterill bids to rebuild the squad after being relegated from the top flight in 2010, he’s pleased with what business has been done so far.

Of the addition of Varney, he says: “Luke gives us good pace, he gives us a goal, he will score with a header and is a good athlete who works hard. What he can do is play all the striking positions, which is what we need.

“He can play off the left, he can play up top. We need flexibility and Luke gives that. He scored a couple of great goals last year for Blackpool, so it will be nice if he can rattle in more like them.”

Henderson, meanwhile, has been signed to keep them out and Cotterill adds: “As for Stephen, he has lots of promise and we are pleased we managed to fight off a few clubs to secure his signature.

“He’s had a couple of good Championship clubs after him and also could have gone to a Premier League club. But he felt if he had gone to the Premier League club he would have been a number two – and he wants to play. So now it is down to him and Jamie (Ashdown) to fight that one out.”

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Stephen Henderson
Luke Varney

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