Varney upbeat on Pompey’s future

David Norris is mobbed by his team-mates after scoring
David Norris is mobbed by his team-mates after scoring

Luke Varney believes Pompey can look to the future with confidence – despite being temporarily without a manager.

The Blues recorded only their third win of the season thanks to a 2-0 home victory over Barnsley on Saturday.

Two quick-fire second-half strikes from summer arrivals David Norris and Varney gave Pompey their first win since the defeat of Blackpool on September 24.

It was a welcome boost after Steve Cotterill left the club for Nottingham Forest just 24 hours earlier.

The Fratton Park hierarchy are now searching for his successor.

It’s unclear at this point how long that process will take, with first-team coaches Guy Whittingham and Stuart Gray taking temporary charge.

But according to Varney, who Cotterill signed for £750,000 from Derby in July, the players remain as committed and professional as ever despite the uncertainty.

And with games against Ipswich – tomorrow night – and Doncaster on the horizon, he believes whoever takes over will inherit a side capable of causing damage in the Championship.

‘Obviously, I’m a bit gutted that Steve’s left,’ said Varney.

‘I really enjoyed working under him.

‘But at the end of the day it’s the club who have invested in me and you’ve just got to do your job.

‘I’ve enjoyed every minute working under Steve and we wish him the best.

‘But as a professional you’ve just got to get on with it and the lads showed a great determination on Saturday to do well for Stuart and Guy.

‘They really put a good shift in.

‘It was a great effort and we’re all delighted to get the three points.

‘We played some fantastic football.

‘I think the goal that Chuck Norris scored epitomised the football we played and the confidence we’ve all got.

‘Hopefully, we’ll make it back-to-back victories for the first time this season against Ipswich.

‘Then we can kick on and start producing some good performances and get some more points on the board.’

Pompey employed a 4-4-2 formation for the visit of Barnsley, with Varney – who was returning from a three-match suspension – playing up front alongside Benjani.

That’s a role the former Blackpool striker enjoyed, after being utilised out on the left wing by Cotterill.

And he believes it’s a formation both he and Pompey can benefit from.

‘I’ve wanted to play up front since I arrived but I’ve loved filling in if the gaffer’s wanted me to play on the left,’ said Varney.

‘It’s a job I enjoy as well but I’m just really pleased to get a shot up front.

‘Hopefully, now I can get a few more games up there and score a few more goals.

‘If I add to my total, then I’ll be delighted.

‘But as long as we keep picking points up and put in some good performances, then personal targets don’t really matter to me.’