WHITES OPEN FOR POMPEY
We've now got to forget about that match. The lads were a bit more positive about things yesterday and the manager made it clear to us that he didn't want us to dwell on it in our minds. We're now looking ahead to the Portsmouth match with a positive attitude and we'll be looking to put things right for everyone, get a run going in the league and restore some of the pride we lost on Wednesday night.
TEDDY MAKES A return to the club today and I'm looking forward to seeing him again. I always got on well with Ted, I played a lot of golf with him off the pitch and as an experienced player, he was always happy to lend a helping hand on the pitch and around the club. It should be good to play against him. He was in the Manchester United side when I made my debut at Old Trafford and again when we beat them 3-1 here a few years ago, he's a quality player but tomorrow's game is all about us getting a result of course!
Teddy made a great start to the season with Pompey, they were on fire at the start, but I spoke to him a while ago and he was saying it was getting a bit more difficult, but they were always expecting a long, hard season. They made a few signings this week so we know its going to be a hard game, especially as they'll be looking at the result we had on Wednesday and will be coming here hoping to capitalise on that, it's up to us to make sure that doesn't happen.
I THINK MY form has been a bit up and down since I returned from injury, I certainly know I can play better. It's really about getting back into the swing of things and about getting the fitness levels up again. After the injury, I didn't have a pre-season type of fitness build-up, I didn't do any extra running but went straight back into training, where it's a case of making sure the injury is okay and that the body is strong enough not to pick up any other knocks. Then, with the injuries we had in the team, I went straight back into the side after a few weeks of training, so I'm working hard on getting that sharpness back which comes from playing games.
ALTHOUGH WE ARE now out of both cups, there is still a long way to go in this season and a lot of points to play for. We know were mid-table in the league and it's so tight between fourth place and the bottom three that if we put a string of results together we could have a good run-in towards the end of the campaign and make it an exciting finish. That has to be our main objective, to get another run started and push up the table. We had a mini-run going just into the New Year so there's no reason why we can't again now.
THE DISAPPOINTMENT of Wednesday night has overshadowed the arrival of Jermain Defoe a little bit, but I get the feeling he's going to be a great signing for us. He's a true goal-getter, a striker who is very threatening in front of goal and I'm sure the fans are going to take to him straight away.
When you consider we've now got Jermain, Keano, Fredi and Helder all together, to be honest I don't think you'll get much better than that in the Premiership in terms of options up front. We've got four very exciting forwards and I'm sure any combination of them will get goals for us.
ALL THE PLAYERS were stunned by Wednesday's result, but one thing that came out of the City game is that we've got a very quick opportunity to put things right. It's been very difficult these last couple of days, but while we're all obviously disappointed, we have got this Portsmouth game to play and we don't want to let Wednesday's events drag into today's build-up and have another poor result. We've just got to look at that as a bit of a freak result while at the same time not under-estimating it, although I don't think it will happen to us again.