Portsmouth - Pedro Mendes is back!
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Pedro Mendes is back!

Pedro Mendes made his return from injury yesterday in a behind closed door friendly with Bournemouth.

The friendly was specially arranged to give players that have been injured, or lacking games recently the chance to play, as well as the fact that our next reserve fixture is a day before we play Birmingham, so many of the 1st team players would not have been able to feature in that game as reserve coach Paul Groves explained on the Pompey Site: 'the idea was to get a game into players who have not been starting for the first-team too much in the last few weeks.

'Lauren last played at Bolton and Sean Davis hasn't started for a while, for instance, while Pedro is coming back from surgery.

'John Utaka has been on the bench since the Africa Cup of Nations and Milan Baros didn't play at Everton.

'A lot of the players will not be available for our next reserve match against Fulham because it is the day before the first-team play Birmingham.

'So this game was important for fitness and was a useful exercise against a strong Bournemouth side'.

The game was won 1-0 thanks to a goal from John Utaka, and after playing the full 90 minutes the night before Martin Cranie also came on for 15 minutes at the end of this game as he steps up his return to fitness - so this might be a sign that he could feature again this season afterall?

As for Mendes, after coming through the full 90 minutes with no ill effects to his ankle after surgery I say get him back into the starting line up ASAP - why not start this week at Old Trafford, alongside Lassana Diarra he was looking absolutely superb, they both were.


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The Journalist

Writer: pompeyrug Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Wednesday March 5 2008

Time: 8:18AM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
Nice one Rug - yep I'd like to see Pedro back in alongside Lassie, perhaps Davies in for Diop too? Muntari, where does he fit?
Report Abuse
05/03/2008 08:50:00

on current form muntari doesnt deserve to be in the team does he? granted he has to build up and understanding with lassie but it doesnt seem to be working does it - but in all fairness muntari wasnt really delivering before he went off to the african nations was he... maybe putting muntari on the left, kranjcar on the right and mendes alongside lassie is worth a go, putting davis in for the weekend game too and baros up top alone?
Report Abuse
05/03/2008 11:14:00

No put Mendes on the bench at best. 90 minutes against MAN U is a far cry fron 90 minutes in a friendly against Bounemouth. I like Mendes but to put him in against Man U and expecting him to play a full match after an injury is courting disaster for both the player and the team.
Report Abuse
05/03/2008 12:12:00

its a fair shout FA, but he will be naturally fit anyway wont he? either way, would he do any worse than those currently playing...
Report Abuse
05/03/2008 12:31:00

the full match fitness is the key issues tho isnt it...
Report Abuse
05/03/2008 12:32:00

Pedro is still one of the best passers we have and should be playing if he is fit, on the bench is no good to him, he is the heartbeat of the team when he starts, needs Diarra and Muntari with him, put Diop and Sean on the bench for later.
Report Abuse
05/03/2008 15:28:00

there is no doubt in mind pedro is better than muntari's current form, he needs to be dropped to help him improve rather than constantly keep giving him starts every game. Pedro was one of my favourite a while ago and i think weve been missing his class in midfield, its a little known fact he can play down the right pretty well, i seem to remember he played there for the spuds.
Report Abuse
05/03/2008 15:40:00

great news that he is back...but a little question...what has happened to saun davis???
Report Abuse
05/03/2008 17:12:00

injury and suspension saw him out the team, i think his little 'late night' drinking with several others when in spain didnt help him either... that said his influence was so good that he needs to start playing some part again, so if mendes doesnt come back in davis should, one of both need to take part on saturday...
Report Abuse
05/03/2008 17:28:00

A tough week with 3 tough games. We need to play using the squad to its best. Mendes will be ready soon but not yet.
Report Abuse
05/03/2008 20:10:00

Top player a good passer because when on form he always has time to make passes. Worth a risk at OT for me.
Report Abuse
05/03/2008 21:25:00

he almost always has some sort of impact at old trafford doesnt he...
Report Abuse
05/03/2008 22:14:00

As rug says this is about being match fit and I just can't see Mendes being fully match fit enough to go against one of the quickest teams around after an ankle operation that would have halted his stamina training. It's too much of a gamble.
Report Abuse
05/03/2008 22:43:00

" why not start this week at Old Trafford, alongside Lassana Diarra he was looking absolutely superb " - Why not indeed !
Report Abuse
06/03/2008 01:10:00

Don't expect many changes fellas ... I think we might see Hughes feature along with Diop, Niko, Munners & Lassie and that's it.. It'll be Kanu up front on his own with Milan on the bench same old same old ... what we need is the players e've got to play out of their skins..
Report Abuse
06/03/2008 07:28:00

I agree Chix. Wholesale changes for this match would be a risk.
Report Abuse
06/03/2008 07:58:00

agree, wholesale changes is too risky against united and will not happen - maybe it would have against whatever side it was? but i also think that making little or no changes would be equally as risky as making none at all wouldnt it... ideally we need to make 1 or 2, the question is will we tho?
Report Abuse
06/03/2008 08:05:00

With Chix on the side, I think we need to do our best & if we get beat, we are out & concentrate on the league.
Report Abuse
06/03/2008 15:40:00

nope he's not ready yet just wait do not rush it or he could be gone for longer
ozanne park rangers
Report Abuse
07/03/2008 08:49:00


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