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Utaka's pace to be fully utilised

Harry Redknapp has admitted that John Utaka's 'blistering pace' is the key ingredient which he intends to make full use of this season, with this likely to see him used mostly as a wide attacker.

'Utaka wants to play through the middle but I think he's going to be playing wide', Redknapp told the Pompey site.

'I think he'll give us a bit of pace. I've seen him play wide a few times before - he can play there no problem'.

He made the switch from a central to a wide attacking role at half time against Bournemouth on Tuesday night, which saw him more effective and far more threatening in 13 second half minutes than he had been in the whole of the first half, before he had to come off injured.

The injury however is not believed to be serious though, it is just a minor knock, but it is expected to be enough to keep him out of the Newport game tonight.

My thinking has always been that he would be used more as a wide player as opposed to an out and out striker anyway - but to have the option of either makes him all the more dangerous. If the second half showing against Bournemouth - before his injury - is anything to go by we are in for a treat and he will cause defenders all sorts of problems.

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The Journalist

Writer: pompeyrug Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Wednesday August 1 2007

Time: 3:30PM

Your Comments

ooooh, how much am i looking forward to our first game against derby now? our team is just falling into place perfectly, and i hope we can give them a good reminder about what the premiership is all about...
pompeycarpet
Utaka should do well but the premiership is a lot faster than le championat and he will come up against problems he has not experienced day in day out. pompeycarpet i dont think the rams or any other team will be a pushover but i do think its a good place for Nugent to start, a largly championship side who he knows and it is important that he gets off to a flyer, you know what i mean get that winning feeling like we did last season. Also as an away game its not such a badun and we have now won in a far far away game. :-)
russellm
our father who art in heaven, now griffin has joined derby please dont let him score against us
russellm
agreed russ, no teams will be easy but if we realistically harbour european hopes we have got to be beating the likes of derby home and away dont we... you can just see it cant you, grif coming back to haunt us!
pompeyrug
no team will be easy, but as they go, derby should not be too hard (any other time in the season, and i would be a lot more confidant). I was more reffering to the start of the season - which I am, more and more, as we see our new playors get there first goals, and we begin to really get going.
pompeycarpet
TBH if we werent playing away i am sure we would beat Derby, but new season 1st of a few tough games home and away im not sure it wont be a draw. Derby are after all still a fizzy team but ive watched us lose away to far worse opposition, a win away to leicester and i will be more confident.
russellm
Who else wouldn't have minded an established Prem team to kick off against?...Derby will be so up for us, trying to prove a point, like all newbies it's dream time and their chance of glory
pentonpompey
yep, it wont be the walkover some will be expecting will it, but i still think we will come away with 3 pts - and i also think we will beat leicester on sat too...
pompeyrug
it is the wrost possible time to play them - but im still expectiong a clean sheet, and 3 pts. our defence really is looking rock solid, and bursting with experiance - im sure distin was the only reason man city styed up last season.
pompeycarpet
Lads they may well be up for it, but so will we be, all the players know what is expected from them. All the teams in the division are tough, and we will have to battle for every point. However there are the players in the squad who will do that for us, and Distin and Muntari give us that solid look in the spine of the team. Lets look forward to the season and Harry having a go at teams away from Fortress Fratton Play up Pompey
Owenspompey
Go to Derby & keep them quiet with some early goals. As Utaka, he'll do well once settled.
storagematt
 

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