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ZOKORA REFLECTS

Posted on 13 October 2006  - 12:00

Didier Zokora steps back into Premiership action at Aston Villa on Saturday still coming to terms with the attention received by the penalty incident against Portsmouth.

Didier Zokora steps back into Premiership action at Aston Villa on Saturday still coming to terms with the attention received by the penalty incident against Portsmouth.

Back at Spurs Lodge this week after helping the Ivory Coast to a 5-0 win against Gabon in African Nations qualifying on Sunday, the all-action midfielder now has unbeaten Villa in his sights as he continues to adapt to his new surroundings.

Didier was at the centre of a media storm after the awarding of a penalty helped us to a 2-0 lead against Pompey last time out on October 3. We won that match 2-1 at the Lane.

"I knew it would take time for me to adapt to Premiership life," reflected the 25-year-old star of the Ivory Coast's World Cup campaign this summer, who has only been in England since July.

"I have spoken with both Martin and Damien about what happened against Portsmouth and what was said will remain between us.

"I was amazed at the amount of attention the incident got in the press and I realise now that everything Premiership footballers do is under the spotlight.

"But what matters most to me is what I what our fans think.

"Wherever I have played in my career I have always given everything for my team and that is the same here. I have a great deal of respect for this Club and the fans. I want them to remember me as a great player, so for me it is important that I am judged on my footballing ability."

The next test is another daunting one - Villa, resurgent under Martin O'Neill, at fortress Villa Park where they have won three matches out of three so far.

However, we travel to Birmingham on the back of vital victories over Pompey in the Premiership and Slavia Prague to book a place in the group stages of the UEFA Cup.

Didier added: "We know it will be difficult. We are on a good run now but they haven't lost yet and that adds up to a tough match.

"I know the squad well now, there is a good atmosphere, we are confident and that is the most important thing. If we can get a positive result, it will only add to that confidence."

"I have spoken with both Martin and Damien about what happened against Portsmouth and what was said will remain between us."