Vignal predicts Yak shut-out
By Ben Blackmore
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Gregory Vignal insists former Portsmouth man Yakubu will not score on Saturday.
Yakubu Aiyegbeni will not add to his tally of four Premiership goals on Saturday, according to one of the men charged with the responsibility of stopping him: Portsmouth defender Gregory Vignal.
Yakubu is set to face his former team-mates for the first time at The Riverside, and Vignal warned that he can expect a tough afternoon from the Pompey rearguard.
The Frenchman insists that they are fully aware of the danger that Yakubu poses, but he feels a second successive shut-out - after the 0-0 draw with Newcastle - will act as a springboard to a successful month for the South Coast side.
"He is a very strong player who scores goals but he will have to play well against us (to score)," warned Vignal.
"We are solid at the back and if we play like we did against Newcastle we can win at Middlesbrough because the most recent performance showed what a strong team spirit we have here."
The game holds significant importance for both sides, with Middlesbrough looking to build on their fine 3-2 away win at Aston Villa, whilst Portsmouth look to secure some vital points to drag themselves away from a relegation dogfight.
Home fixtures with Charlton and Wigan, plus an away trip to Sunderland, follow Saturday's fixtures, before Alain Perrin's men face a treble of tough encounters, against Liverpool, Chelsea and Manchester United.
However, former Liverpool and Rangers man Vignal is remaining positive about the club's prospects, starting with a positive result against Middlesbrough.
"The mood in the camp is still positive because we are playing good football and creating chances.
"I think we can do something at Middlesbrough and if we win one game then we can start rolling."