npower Championship

Pos Team Pld Pts GD
18 Barnsley 40 46 -16
19 Nott'm Forest 40 43 -15
20 Millwall 40 41 -10
21 Coventry 40 38 -15
22 Bristol City 40 37 -29
23 Portsmouth 40 33 -7

Fratton Park

31/03/2012 15:00


St Marys

07/04/2012 13:00

Matchday Hosp
The Southampton Files
The Southampton Files
Ward Eyes More Glory
Ward Eyes More Glory
Appleton’s Derby Relish
Appleton’s Derby Relish

by Neil Weld


Luke Varney has been reinvigorated by playing up front for Pompey.


The forward has been used wide on the left for most of the season, but has played as a striker for the last three matches.


And he has made the most of his opportunity by netting three goals in as many games.


The 29-year-old added to his strike against Barnsley last week by netting a brace to down Doncaster in a 3-1 Blues victory at Fratton Park.


He opened the scoring with less than three minutes played, only to see the Blues pegged back and go in level at the break.


Varney was unhappy that Pompey allowed their visitors to get back into the game, but felt their second-half performance warranted all three points.


He said: “We were a bit lethargic in the first half and didn’t play with the confidence we’ve shown in the last two games.


“We scored early and haven’t been in that situation too often this season – we’re usually chasing games.


“We didn’t have the crowd egging us on because we were winning, so maybe it was good that we conceded that goal and went in level at the break.


“Maybe we were resting on our laurels a bit, but then we came out a lot better in the second half.


“It shows the strength and attitude we have that we had a word at half-time and turned the tide to get all three points.


“I’m enjoying playing up top and enjoyed the two goals. For all the hard work I do playing on the left, I’m closer to the goal when I’m up front and going to score more goals.


“Long may the goals continue, but as long as we’re picking up the points I’ll be happy.”


Varney believes his goalscoring form is down to the partnership he has built up with fellow forward Dave Kitson.


And he has backed Erik Huseklepp – who provided the assist for Varney’s second goal – to get better and better during his time with the Blues.


“I said after the pre-season game at Havant & Waterlooville that Kits’ style suited me,” said Varney. “He looks after the ball for me and can win headers as well. Hopefully I can continue to enjoy a relationship with him.


“Erik’s starting to adapt now. Obviously it will take time with him playing in the Championship, but he’ll get used to the hustle and bustle.


“You can see in every game that he’s enjoying his football and he’s getting good balls in – I’m sure he’ll score a few as well."