Is Utaka worth perservering with after all?
By Site reporter
Wednesday 20 May 2009 22:11:00
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John Utaka is being backed to persevere at Pompey and show fans he can do better than he has shown in the past year. And it seems plenty of fans want him to get the chance to prove it.

The Nigerian frontman/winger has been much criticised this season for failing to show anything like the form that made him a hit after his move to Fratton in the summer of 2007.

But there were strong signs in the win over Sunderland that he still has what it takes to terrorise Premier League defences – or, at least, Sunderland’s defence. Now an African football expert has told The News Utaka will want to stay at Pompey and prove he can cut it at this level.

And the paper’s poll on Utaka’s future shows plenty of support for Utaka, with more than half suggesting either that he could prove himself with an extended run up front or that his Black Cats display showed he could be a hit.

Expert Tunde Adelakun, editor-in-chief of New African Soccer, told The News pompey should stick with Utaka’s central forward role.

'John is finally operating in a position which suits him perfectly. His manager has put him in an area where he can come into his own at Portsmouth,’ said Adelakun.

'With his assets, he could be perfectly suited to playing in that role alongside Peter Crouch. Using him in that position could be the perfect area to unlock his potential.

'John is very philosophical about the situation. It's been a difficult time for him and his club, and his confidence has not been up to much good.

'John wants to perform but his confidence has not been able to let him do that, and he has fallen flat. People see his pace and think he should perform on the wing. But John sees himself as a striker, and this is the area he feels he can perform best.

'He has not fulfiled his potential at Portsmouth yet.

'If John could be given the games he could do better. There is no reason for him to leave Pompey. John is not the type of person to play two seasons and call it quits.

'He will want to achieve more and I don't think he will go unless Portsmouth want him to go.'

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