Muntari wrench to leave

Ghanaian prepares for African Cup of Nations

Muntari: Big blow for Pompey

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Portsmouth midfielder Sulley Muntari concedes it is a wrench to leave Fratton Park for the African Cup of Nations.

"Because we are doing so well at Portsmouth it is a bit like having to turn off the good music just because your mother has come into the room."

Sulley Muntari

Quotes of the week

The Ghanaian has been a revelation in his first season in the Premier League but after Saturday's FA Cup third-round tie at Ipswich, his focus of attention will switch from domestic to international affairs.

Portsmouth are to be severely depleted by their players' involvement in the competition, with team-mates Kanu, John Utaka and Papa Bouba Diop also to head to Ghana next week.

Muntari is looking forward to competing on home soil but admits he would prefer the competition to be held at a time of the year that would not affect his involvement at club level.

Mum's in the room

"Because we are doing so well at Portsmouth it is a bit like having to turn off the good music just because your mother has come into the room," said Muntari.

"But there is no higher honour than being picked for your country and in Ghana we have a special responsibility because we are the hosts - and one of the favourites.

"It is still hard, though, to leave your club when the results and performances have been so good.

"We can only hope that something is worked out for the future. I believe the African federation know what they are doing."