Date: 30th March 2008 at 9:07am
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When both Hermann Hreidarsson and John Utaka had to be taken off yesterday you could not help but fear the worse for them, especially with next weekends semi final coming up? however the pair both believe that they will be fit for the showpiece event.

Hreidarsson received a gash around the Achilles area, which was a major concern – his beating the ground in anger told its own story at the time – as damage to this would have almost certainly ruled him out, but according to the Icelandic hard man it was nothing and he remains desperate to play at Wembley next weekend.

He might be a natural central defender, and as such you do quite often notice him drifting into the middle sometimes leaving the left hand side exposed but he has grown into a good left back for us this season getting up and down the pitch, also giving that extra cover to the middle so my thinking is that we do need him next weekend, granted we ‘could’ cope without him but I would rather be with, than without him to be honest.

On a day when he had one of his better games for some time Utaka was forced off when he felt a slight problem with his hamstring, so rather than take any undue risks he came off – mainly as a precautionary measure.

As said Utaka had one of his better games, so depending on what system we go with he could have a major impact from the start, or the bench if fit – so long as he puts in the effort we saw yesterday – even more so on the wide open area of Wembley, where his pace could be a huge asset, so again having him available to the squad is certainly preferable than not.

Another man that might have more of a role to play than we might have expected could be Dave Nugent. He came on for 25 minutes or so yesterday to great success for me. He looked sharper, quicker and more intelligent with his use of the ball. His movement, which I have always thought top class seemed spot on too. Seeing him take on and out pace his man several times pleased me.

PLAY UP POMPEY!

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