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MARTIN ON POMPEY CHALLENGE

Posted on 2 October 2006  - 12:00

Martin Jol reports that Dimitar Berbatov is back in the squad for Sunday's encounter with Portsmouth at the Lane.

Martin Jol reports that Dimitar Berbatov is back in the squad for Sunday's encounter with Portsmouth at the Lane.

The Bulgarian international striker has missed five games since returning from international duty with a groin problem. Also under consideration for selection against Pompey are Ledley King, Edgar Davids, Jermain Defoe and Paul Stalteri.

"Dimitar Berbatov is in the squad and Ledley King will probably be fit to play," revealed Martin this afternoon. "Paul Stalteri, Edgar Davids and Jermain Defoe have had fitness tests and could also be involved."

The visit of Portsmouth comes at the end of another busy eight-day period which featured two other games against Liverpool and Slavia Prague. Martin believes improvement is called for when the team return to action after a UEFA Cup fixture on a Thursday - particularly at home.

"We are at the end of another sequence of games and we have to do better," he added. "If we want to stay in Europe and do well in the Premiership we have to cope and do well in home games.

"It is what the top sides do.

"Portsmouth played on Monday and we played on Thursday, but we can't make this a problem for us. We want to be in a position where we have to play three games in just over a week and we have to prove ourselves."

Meanwhile, Martin described the comments of striker Mido regarding former player Sol Campbell as being inappropriate ahead of the defender's return to White Hart Lane with his new club.

"I have spoken to Mido and he is well aware that this is not the kind of comment you make about a fellow player. Given the feelings that still run high about Sol among our supporters, Mido's comments were not only disrespectful, they were also irresponsible.

"I have told him to let his football do the talking in the future."