Portsmouth are flying high in the English Premier League at the moment and are actually in a good position to qualify for a UEFA Cup place. But Pompey have one more competition to look forward to in the coming weeks of the season and that is the FA Cup.
Portsmouth play the mighty Manchester United in the quarter-finals of the oldest competition in the world and although most would put their money on the Red Devils to win the tie. Portsmouth manager Harry Redknapp is not thinking along the same wavelength. Redknapp is taking the Cup competition seriously and has hinted that he might go on to rest star Nigerian striker Nwanko Kanu in Premiership matches precisely to keep him fresh and injury-free for the Cup clash with United.
After the Preston match, I think we’ve got to work hard this week on the training ground so that everybody understands their role in that system. There are a couple of new players coming in and I’m going to have to be careful with Kanu in the league.
If I lose him we’re going to be short. He might be one I will have to wrap in cotton wool for the next week or two and wait for the Cup.
I’ve got Baros and Defoe to come back for the league games, so I might have to be careful with Kanu – I can’t really afford to lose him as well.
He did well against Preston – he can hold it up for you, he’s got a good touch. The problem is getting behind people, we’ve got no pace, that’s the problem.
Kanu can hold it up on his own, but you need people to run beyond him. You are looking for runners really.
Portsmouth are to confront relegation favourites Sunderland and UEFA Champions League hopefuls Everton before they gear up against United in the FA Cup but it wouldn’t be wise for Redknapp to rest Kanu for those two matches where they can win points. After all, United are the favourites against them and dropping points in the league would only dampen their European hopes for next season.