Norris relishes revenge for season low

David Norris is surrounded by Watford players in this season's first meeting between the two sides
David Norris is surrounded by Watford players in this season's first meeting between the two sides

Just 44 days earlier, David Norris produced the worst performance of his Pompey career.

How sweet it was then to lead the revenge mission against Watford.

It was the midfielder’s right-wing cross which created Marko Futacs’ 54th-minute headed opener.

Hayden Mullins sealed the victory three minutes from time with his first goal of the campaign.

Yet in the reverse fixture on November 18, it was a very different Blues performance in Michael Appleton’s first match as boss.

His new side slumped to a 2-0 defeat during an abject showing at Vicarage Road.

Norris, who was skipper that day, was hauled off during the second half, such was his disappointing display.

Meanwhile, Tal Ben Haim didn’t reappear after the break.

Both started the Hornets rematch at Fratton Park.

Norris revealed that previous encounter had left him with a point to prove during their latest clash.

And he was delighted to put the record straight as Pompey made it seven matches unbeaten at home.

He said: ‘To be fair, I’ve tried to delete that last Watford match from my memory really, but that was one that stuck in the throat.

‘I think we owed them one after that. We really let the manager down that game in his first match. The new manager comes in and you want to try to impress and I think we all let ourselves down that day and the travelling support as well.

‘It was a sickener and the worst we have played this season. As a team we were terrible and I hold my hands up as well, that was probably my worst game of the season.

‘I think I have only had two or three games where I wasn’t as effective – but that was the worst one.

‘You don’t mind losing the odd game. We lost at Millwall when that was a game which could have gone either way.

‘The effort was there and as much as you hate losing that’s the way to lose a game.

‘But at Watford it was terrible all round and it sticks in my throat.

‘That performance was mentioned before Monday’s game.

‘A few weeks later we had the chance to prove what we can do against them – and I think we did it.’

That victory over the Hornets was the third win in eight matches since Appleton took over.

It’s a 12-point haul which has lifted the Blues seven points clear of the relegation zone.

Encouragingly, they remain just eight short of the play-offs – with a game in hand.

It is steady progress as Pompey look to recover from a disappointing start to a season which has once again become dogged with financial uncertainty.

And Norris is optimistic the team are currently on the right track under the new manager.

He added: ‘It was a good performance and I think we have played quite well during the last few games.

‘We are moving in the right direction.

‘We are hard to beat, not many teams will enjoy coming here and playing.

‘We can’t rest on our laurels in this league, you can soon get dragged back down that way.

‘What we want to do is get as many points as possible and get away from that bottom.’