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Niko Returning

Niko Returning
Niko has been out for the past seven weeks after damaging ligaments in his right ankle, but HR is adamant that Kranjcar has a big part to play in Pompey's success this season.

'Niko is coming back, hopefully by the back end of the month, which is a big bonus for us.

'He's a top, top player in my opinion and there will always be a role for him in my team, no doubt about that.

'The lad is a cracking footballer. I just have to get him fit and then look at getting him into the team.

'Someone like Niko makes you stronger. He's an international player, a quality performer on the world stage - any manager would want him in their team.

'He can create something out of nothing, come up with a bit of magic that no-one else can.

'There are not many of him around in the Premier League at the moment, that's for sure.

'Obviously, Armand and Nadir have done fantastic down that left for us since they came to the club, but Niko can play in other positions.

'He has played a lot on the left for us but he can also go on the right - he's naturally right-footed - or he could operate behind the front two if you wanted.

'The lad gives us options but first I just want to get him fit and then see what happens.'

Kranjcar is expected to return by the end of October, just in time for a busy schedule ahead of the UEFA cup group stages and Premiership matches over the next couple of months.

Although Niko has been missed by the 'Fratton Faithful', his replacements in the form of Nadir Belhadj and Armand Traore, have been more than enough to fill his boots on the left-hand side.

The duo on loan from RC Lens and Arsenal, played a big part in Pompey's early success in the UEFA cup, so it looks like is going to have to fight hard for his place back, when returning fully to training.

Written by Pompey_7.

The views within this article are the views of the individual who wrote and submitted this piece, sometimes solely theirs. They are not necessarily shared by the Vital Pompey Site Journalists.

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Date:Tuesday October 14 2008
Time: 2:21PM

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niko would be ideally suited behind the strikers in a free role, so when we play 3-5-2 thats where i would play him... in a 4-4-2 he has to play on the right - him or jerome thomas for me, but niko would win in a battle between the pair of course!
14/10/2008 14:26:00
i think it would be nice to see Niko is his preferred position in the centre alongside Diarra - that would be a pairing and a half
14/10/2008 14:49:00
Diarra & Niko in the middle, ummm, not sure. Great to have Niko back, another great option. No doubt Sasha will want him fit for January!!!
14/10/2008 14:59:00
diarra, niko and davis would be a fantastic trio, diarra gets up and down and can create, davis does likewise but break up the play too offering a shield to diarra whereas niko can create - in a midfeild pair i wouldnt go niko and diarra...
14/10/2008 15:08:00
Very true Rug, we would be very short of cover when Niko was to slow to run back after loosing the ball. Behind the front 2 is the best place, or as a sub coming on to change to a 4-5-1 in winning situations. Blimey did I just say sub???
14/10/2008 16:39:00
He might be over his injury by the end of October, but will he be match fit?. Remember he was not fully match fit when injured, this makes it even more difficult to return.
14/10/2008 17:42:00
Don't know where he will play, either in a 3 or 5 man midfield I reckon, spare place on the right up for grabs?
14/10/2008 18:33:00
there's definatly a place on the right up for grabs, and in 3-5-2, there's a place in the middle asking to be taken. I think the problem pretty much solves itself...
14/10/2008 18:55:00
We'll see then Carps, also who is to say Arsenal won't call back Traore come January?
14/10/2008 19:16:00
Having Niko back gives us extra options especially now we are allowed seven substitutes. HR would be able to completely change the shape of the side. He can play in the hole as he does for his country, on the left on in a middle three. Trouble with wide right is lack of pace but worth a try and remember he has a fantastic passing ability.
14/10/2008 19:21:00
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