Mbesuma pleads for start
By Chris Stanton. Last Updated: January 1, 1970 1:00am
Portsmouth striker Collins Mbesuma believes he is now ready to alleviate Pompey's goalscoring malaise.
Mbesuma hopes to be involved in manager Alain Perrin's squad for the weekend's visit to Middlesbrough, a match which will see the Fratton Park club line up against former Pompey striker and prolific goalscorer Yakubu Aiyegbeni.
Yakubu made a £7 million switch to The Riverside in the summer and the likes of new signings Mbesuma and Dario Silva have yet to fill the Nigerian's goalscoring void on the South Coast.
Zambian Mbesuma's case has been hampered by a delay in receiving his British work permit which precluded the 21-year-old's participation in pre-season training.
However, Mbesuma has been in impressive form for the reserves and believes Saturday would be an opportune time to hand him his full debut, particularly as leading scorer Tresor Lomana Lua Lua has been laid low with a bout of malaria.
"I can score. I feel I can get the goals and my fitness is getting close now. If you are playing every game for the reserves and scoring it gives you confidence," Mbesuma said.
"And I have the confidence now to play against the best teams."
Perrin, though, insists he will bide his time before thrusting the former 35-goal Kaizer Chiefs forward into the Premiership fray.
"I think he still needs two or three weeks to be fully ready but he is getting better and better and maybe we can use him," said Perrin.
"He has played for the reserves and scored and I can push him."