Hughes wants regular game

Midfielder will fight to stay in squad

Hughes: Keen to play

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Scotland international Richard Hughes is hoping to earn a regular place in Harry Redknapp's squad as he bids to resolve Portsmouth's midfield problems.

Pompey, who have not won a home game since September, will play host to Middlesbrough at the weekend knowing they will be without Pedro Mendes and Sean Davis - both injured.

Hughes stepped in at the last minute in rather impressive fashion when the aforementioned duo were ruled out on Boxing Day against Arsenal.

And the 28-year-old will be hoping that performance was enough for boss Harry Redknapp to hand him a second chance to prove his worth as opposed to re-jigging the side to allow Benjani Mwaruwari to partner Kanu in attack.

"Once you get back in the team, you always hope you have done enough to get a run," said Hughes ahead of Saturday's tie at Fratton Park.

"Every squad player wants to get in the team and then stay in the team," he added.

Strong position

Portsmouth are currently in seventh place in the league but have not won in their last three outings. Despite that, they are in a strong position just five points behind fourth place Liverpool.

"I accept that it is a squad game, and you have to be prepared to wait for your chance," said Hughes. "You have to be patient, work hard in training and hope you get an opportunity.

"I understand the situation. The team has been brilliant all season, and the club is at its highest place in the top flight for 50 years or more.

"So I had to be prepared to wait for an opening - and when I got one against Arsenal, I like to think I took it."