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.”


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