Utaka keen to prove his value
JOHN UTAKA is eager to show new Portsmouth manager Tony Adams he is not a £7million misfit.
Utaka has struggled to make an impact at Fratton Park since his move from French club Rennes 16 months ago. But after one of his better performances during the 1-0 setback at Liverpool, he believes he can flourish under Adams.
Nigerian winger Utaka also feels Pompey can use the performance as a springboard for tomorrow’s home game against struggling Wigan.
“We did well against Liverpool and at one stage I thought we might even win,” said Utaka, 26. “The result was disappointing but if we continue like that the results will come. We just need to continue working hard.”
Utaka now hopes he can secure a permanent place in Adams’ plans and is set to be given a lengthy run because of a hamstring injury to right-sided rival Glen Little.
He added: “The manager encouraged me before the game, telling me to enjoy it and to work hard defensively.”
Although Adams used a system of five midfielders and only Peter Crouch up front for the trip to Anfield, he is set to recall Jermain Defoe for the Wigan game. DEAN WINDASS last night called off a planned loan move to Leeds after being promised a dream appearance against Manchester United at Old Trafford tomorrow.
Veteran striker Windass, 39, had been poised to quit Hull after growing frustrated at his lack of match action. But he staged a surprise U-turn after showdown talks with Tigers manager Phil Brown, who offered him an extended run in the first team.
Hull chairman Paul Duffen said: “It’s definitely not happening.”