Date: 28th December 2007 at 12:51pm
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Gary O’Neil returns to Pompey tomorrow for the first time since his transfer deadline day departure in August, but as he told The News he has no regrets about making his switch to Boro – even though he was not left much choice – despite their troubles and feels that the move has benefited him: ‘I didn’t really have a decision to make, once they started accepting offers for me I knew my time was up.

‘I could have said I wanted to stay but they were clearly not desperate to keep me.

‘Maybe I was not going to get as much football as I wanted with players Harry signed in the summer so it was probably the best thing to do.

‘Gareth Southgate said he had been trying to sign me for ages and kept getting knocked back – until August. It’s nice to now feel wanted.

‘It’s felt like a new lease of life, though, and I’ve definitely improved.

‘The first game I did really well and taken it from there, I’ve settled in really quickly.

‘It’s been a massive move and sometimes it can go the other way. But this is the best I have played for a few years and I’m really enjoying it’.

We were all sad to see him leave Pompey after so long, but we all agreed that we felt it was the best thing to have happened for the sake of his career.

He is, as you would expect looking forward to returning so he can finally say goodbye to some people that he was unable to prior to his quickly arranged switch, he can also say goodbye properly to the fans too: ‘I am looking forward to tomorrow, it was the first game I looked for when I came up here.

‘I’ve not had the chance to say goodbye to so many people, the move happened so quick.

‘So it will be nice to come back and see everyone and hopefully get three points as well.

‘Pompey definitely has a special place in my heart, I was there from the age of 13, but I had to leave’.

I have no doubt that he will get a fantastic reception from the Fratton faithful and should he get anything less I would be absolutely astounded as well as disgusted with anyone that would not give him a great reception – a reception that he deserves.

Should he open his Boro account against us, as unlikely and unthinkable as we hope it will be he has already said that he would not celebrate the goal.

PLAY UP POMPEY!

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