Date: 11th December 2008 at 11:43am
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Dave Nugent should be boosted by the words of praise and encouragement that Tony Adams has offered him with what he has said on the Pompey Site today…

As has been said over and over his time with Pompey has not been what was expected, certainly not was hoped, although to be fair injuries have not helped. His attitude has impressed Adams who says he is very much part of his plans and only the form of Peter Crouch and Jermain Defoe is keeping him out: ‘he’s back, fully recovered and raring to go. He’s looking sharp in training. The only problem is the other two keep scoring – which is a lovely problem to have.

‘At the moment chances are going to be limited for him but he’s reacting well in training and working really hard.

‘I like his attitude. He’s enthusiastic and determined. He makes intelligent runs and can get in behind defenders.

‘I thought he was excellent away to Ipswich in the FA Cup last season. He worked hard for the team.

‘I saw him play in an England under-21 tournament in Holland – he and Leroy Lita were excellent. I also saw him play against Germany. He held the ball up really well and ran into the channels. He caused the Germans a lot of problems.

‘He’s done well at that level and needs to make the next step now.

‘I think the crowd still love him at Fratton Park and that’s because of his commitment.’

Without a run of games, and decent run of games from the start – and not just bits and pieces here and there – it has been hard to fully judge him, playing with injuries also has not helped nor has the fact that he was never backed or rated by Harry Redknapp, but that is the old ‘cross me at your peril’ mentality that he has. He might have backed him from time to time, but never to the extend that Adams has here – and when he says it you feel he means it, well I do anyway…

Links with Everton have again developed but the Pompey manager has praised the way that these have been responded to – his main regret is the fact that he was not named in the uefa cup squad, the biggest indicator that he was not in Redknapp’s plans, therefore he cannot play against Heerenveen next week when he would have: ‘Everton have not contacted us and he hasn’t said he wants to go. He supported Everton as a boy and sometimes the press put two and two together and come up with five.

‘But Richard Hughes supported AC Milan and there’s no move to Milan for him.

‘David’s too close to the first team to go anywhere – one injury and he’s playing.

‘He’s got himself fit and is training well. Unfortunately he can’t play against Heerenveen in the UEFA Cup. That would have been a great game for him to come in and play.

‘But he’s part of my squad and there will be opportunities for him. ‘

There might be a split on Nugent, but I do not think that many of us can fault the effort and the commitment that he shows – traits, as said before, that we all love in Pompey players!

I have to admit that I have swayed back and fourth on my thoughts on him – but when all is said and done you do not become a bad player overnight do you, and we really have not seen enough to completely say ‘he is without doubt a flop’ have we, in all honesty… He was not rated by Redknapp, with an arm around him and used in the right way we could still see the player we have always wanted – but ‘when’ chances come along for him to play he must take them, and he appears as though he will get them and he wants to take them.

A league goal, no matter how scrappy or lucky, is exactly what he needs – should this come along this ‘might’ be the catalyst that he, and we, have been waiting for…

PLAY UP POMPEY!

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