Date: 19th January 2008 at 1:21am
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Lassana Diarra hardly covered himself in glory when he seemed to imply that he was basically using Pompey as a ‘stepping stone’ to further his career…

However he has hit back at these allegations, by insisting this is not the case and we will find out how much he wants to be here when we face Derby today: ‘I want to be here and I have come here to focus on my football. Of course, I want to keep my place in the French national team but that will be no problem if I play here and do well.

‘This is a really good team with some really good players – and it will be even better when four of them come back from the African Nations Cup.

‘I have watched Pompey and I believe we can qualify for Europe with the players we have here. I just want to play and win.

‘I am only 22 and many things can change in football but I don’t want to talk about Arsenal or Chelsea or even Manchester United. I am with Portsmouth now and very happy to be here. The manager here wants me and that is very important when you join a new club.

‘I have trained just one day with the team and have not played for four weeks but you will see how much this move means to me when I play against Derby’.

Ambition is not a problem for me, I can accept that unless we can push on and meet these players’ ambitions – which is possible – then players could leave, but if we can meet this they will have no reason to leave.

He just has to be careful what he says from now on, and so long as he delivers on the pitch all will be ok, if he is then sold he would have done a job here but you would like to think that any release clause is a hefty amount…

PLAY UP POMPEY!

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