Utaka happy with role
John Utaka is hoping to start against Aston Villa on Saturday after being used mostly as a substitute.
Last Updated: 16/10/08 1:00pm
John Utaka is hoping to start against Aston Villa on Saturday after being used mostly as a substitute this season.
The Portsmouth winger insists he is happy with his involvement so far this term but has told manager Harry Redknapp that he is ready to play from the first whistle.
Utaka has been troubled by a hamstring problem for the past fortnight but Redknapp has more serious injury concerns with Lassana Diarra and Richard Hughes both missing.
Sean Davis is also struggling after suffering a back twinge in training and Utaka could be handed an opportunity to line up down the right flank.
"There was a small tear in my hamstring which happened in training, but it's fine now," he told The News.
"I have worked hard, training twice a day, and I am now ready to play again.
"Of course, whether I am in the team depends on the system the coach wants to play.
"At the end of the day he knows what he wants to do and the way he wants to do it."
Utaka realises that he will not always feature due to the competition for places at Fratton Park but believes he will still have a major role to play over the course of the season.
The Nigerian explained: "I have been involved a lot this season, often as substitute, but the season is long, there will be other opportunities for me and I still enjoy every game.
"I have no regrets whatsoever playing football.
"The most important thing is I want to do well, I want to be successful and I want to try as hard as I can. Hopefully, I can play against Aston Villa and show that."