PORTSMOUTH have become a more solid side in their years in the Premier League. When Harry Redknapp was there he always wanted the team to play in a certain way and they were always a good footballing side. When they first came into the league they had difficulties to start with but if I look how they finished last season, that has set them up for this campaign. Think of the game at our place last season, it was high entertainment for the fans but too many goals went in our net and I'm sure they would have felt that as well. They've become an established side now.
Just look at the players there - Yakubu is a quality striker and Berger has played very well against us in the past. Any side with those players in it can cause any team problems. Berger was out for a period of time and they really missed him. He gives them the drive from midfield and the fact he's left-footed and left-sided is an added quality and always a threat from free-kicks. They've had four centre forwards all season and when you look at other clubs, a lot have only had two or three. They have that flexibility.
Arjen De Zeeuw is their captain and very important for them. I remember seeing him at Barnsley and he was a very good player there. He's certainly missed when he's out, he always makes an impact and you can tell the big players because they come straight back into the fold. Stefanovic has also had a couple of injuries and perhaps centre-back has been one problem area for them.
When you have new players coming on or, as in their case as well, players going out it can go either way. But if I look at the time when Harry went and Velemir Zajec came in they had a very good spell after that. So if anything, it lifted them because they knew it was a change, knew people were looking to see how they would cope and they've coped well. It's a good squad and they've improved the level of consistency by bringing in better quality players.
Chris Hughton gives us the rundown on our forthcoming opponents - next up, Portsmouth on Saturday.