Date: 21st October 2008 at 5:06pm
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Lassana Diarra, who has missed our last 3 games with a knee injury and of course suspension, is a doubt for Braga on Thursday – so Harry Redknapp is not prepared to risk him, or anyone else for that matter as he told the Daily Star: ‘we have games coming up thick and fast, and we don’t want to let someone play who might not be fully fit, and then aggravate the injury and have him out for a longer period.

‘Hopefully, Diarra will be ready to return for Sunday’s game against Fulham.’

A player of such importance, as the Frenchman is, should not be risked. We could have done with him against Villa at the weekend, but not trying to be funny or disrespectful I would rather that he missed games against the likes of Braga and Fulham – so, even if he was not fit for this weekend it would not be the be all and end all.

In a way, with Redknapp forced into such changes it gives others chances and proves that rotating things around with so many games to be played it is not always a bad thing – and we can cope with this. We have a squad of players, most of whom I would happily see step in and play, so we must use them all and I think this reality is sinking in, to be fair I think it did after the Citeh mauling as it proved 3 games in a week was too much for some…

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The subject of using players leads me nicely into the return of Ben Sahar – another I look forward to seeing get a chance in the coming months.

Since we signed him on loan from Chelski we have been restricted to pre-season friendly and reserve viewings of him due to the fact he could not get on or was injured, which came on international duty for Israel.

The 19-year-old is back and he played for, and scored in the reserves win on Monday so he is hungry for a chance as he told the Pompey Site: ‘it was a good chance to get through 90 minutes after coming back from injury a couple of weeks ago.

‘I needed 11 stitches in my left knee. I slid on the pitch and landed on the sprinkler system.

‘But I’ve worked hard to get fit again. I was lucky to only be out for about two weeks because it could have been a lot worse.

‘It was great to score and I feel good. Now I’m just waiting to get my chance in the first team.

‘I’m focused and hopefully I’ll get a chance. It’s difficult when you have two good strikers like Crouch and Defoe ahead of you, but I believe in myself.

‘It’s good for the team that they’re doing so well, which makes me happy, but obviously it’s also a bit frustrating personally not to be playing. But I think that if I do get a chance then I can bring something else to the team.

‘I’m prepared to wait and if I do play, then I’m sure that I’ll show that I’m good enough to perform well for the first team.’

I like what I am hear here, as it sounds promising – we need this to be backed up with actions, and assuming the chance comes along I feel sure we will see what he can do as he is a fine talent from the little I have seen of him.

We know that he will not feature on Thursday in the uefa cup as he is not in the squad, but all being well he will claim a place on the bench against Fulham – if not be given a start should Jermain Defoe or Peter Crouch be rested after the trip to Portugal?

Hopefully Jerome Thomas can be another who is again at least on the bench when we face Fulham, although – and as I keep saying – I would most definitely be more than a little tempted to get him into the starting 11 on the right wing…

PLAY UP POMPEY!

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