Date: 5th August 2008 at 7:42am
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Pompey coach Joe Jordan has moved quickly to tell the Pompey Site that fears of an injury for Lassana Diarra in our win over Oxford last night would be premature: ‘Lassana got a bit of a knock but he’ll be alright. It was a bit of a crazy tackle but he managed to get out the way and just got clipped.

‘I think he got a bit of cramp getting out of the way of the challenge but he should be okay for Sunday.

‘He’s a bit behind the rest because he got an extra period of time off after the European Championships. He’s got a bit of catching up to do in regards to his general fitness.

‘He did play part of the behind-closed-doors friendly we had in South Africa but we don’t want to force him.

‘We don’t want to push the players and do too much, too soon.’

He was also pleased to see a goal come from the midfield, and from all people Papa Bouba Diop, with his runs from midfield impressing him – but the most important thing for him was the fact that many just got another 90 minutes under their build: It was good that a midfielder scored. ‘we had a successful season last year but I think that’s something we can improve on.

‘It was nice to see Papa getting in there. Not only did he score, but he had another good chance and created one for Peter Crouch.

‘It was nice to see him making some good runs.

‘It’s disappointing to concede because as well as looking to score goals up front and in midfield, we’re also looking to keep clean sheets.

‘It was good to win – you always want to win – but that’s not everything in pre-season.

‘You’re looking for improvements really, whether that’s with fitness, players getting to know each other or getting a settled formation.

‘It was also important to see most of the players get 90 minutes under their belt.’

We have another fixture – which could well be our last of pre-season apart from the Manyoo game on Sunday – against Havant & Waterlooville tonight, so those that did not play against Oxford will against the Hawks then it is off to our second home for the charity shield on Sunday…

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