Pompey striker wants a central role at Wembley
By Site reporter
Tuesday 04 May 2010 22:38:00
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John Utaka believes Pompey’s improved league form can only help lift their confidence ahead of the FA Cup final.

And he is hoping his goal against Wolves will help convince Avram Grant to make him one of only two or three players to make it two final appearances for the club.


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The Nigerian scored his first Premier League goal of the campaign in the 3-1 win over Wolves. His last league goal came in the final home of last season, against Sunderland.

But the man who disposed of Sunderland with two goals in this year’s run to Wembley insists he is worth a place in the final line-up – and as a striker, not a wide-man.

Utaka said of his central role: 'I feel more comfortable up there. You have got options when you play as centre-forward – you can go left or right.

'But when you play wide, if you go into the middle, it leaves the other side open. It's not really my best position. The most important thing is to do well when I get my opportunity. I don't often shoot with my left foot but I just gave it a go and it went in.'

Utaka says his confidence, and that of the team as a whole, is high as the countdown to the Chelsea clash continues. He would be one of the few to play in both the 2008 and 2010 finals if he does get the call. David James should also notch that double, with Papa Bouba Diop and Kanu the other contenders.

He said: 'I am always confident but the only thing that has happened is that I have been given an opportunity. It was a good result and a good way to keep everybody happy. It gives people hope that we can do it in the cup final.

'The reception from the fans was brilliant. It's a way to show our appreciation as well for the way they have helped us and supported us this season. Now we will take it step by step.

'We have one game left in the Premier League and then the FA Cup final. It was a very good way to sign off. We had to give the fans the kind of show that they deserved. They have been there during the good times and the bad times.’

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