Monday, June 17, 2019

Stefanovic backs old club over new employers Fulham

SoccerNews in English Premier League 11 May 2008

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Dejan Stefanovic has tipped old club Portsmouth to send his Fulham side tumbling into the Championship at Fratton Park on Sunday.

The defender moved to Craven Cottage in August after making 125 appearances for Portsmouth and believes the FA Cup finalists will triumph in the crunch match against Roy Hodgson's side.

Fulham go into the match knowing a win will keep them in the top flight but Stefanovic feels Fulham lack the same quality Harry Redknapp's men possess and he thinks that is enough stop the Londoners getting the three points they need.

Stefanovic said: “It's a massive game for Fulham and we need to win. I think it is going to be difficult to pick up all three points. I think we will be lucky to get a point.

“Pompey have lost their last three games and it was a draw before that and they will want to have a win going into the FA Cup final.

“I know Harry Redknapp and what his teams are like and Pompey always want to win at home whatever the game is.

“I think it will be tough to take a result, the players are not bad here. It is a squad which can just about survive, if they are lucky. But if you ask me “Who is going to win?” I think it will be Portsmouth.”

Stefanovic will miss an emotional return to his former club after falling out of favour under Hodgson and the 33-year-old stated he will be leaving the club in the summer.

Stefanovic said: “I've not played since the start of the year and it will be disappointing not to play in front of the Pompey fans again. I've said I will be leaving in the summer whatever happens on Sunday.”

“The manager has made his choices and while I might not agree with them I have to get on with it because that's the way football is sometimes.”

Jermain Defoe wants to sign off his season by grabbing a goal to sink Fulham to make up for his heartache at missing out on two Wembley finals this season.

The England striker missed the League Cup final when he moved from Tottenham Hotspur in a seven-million-pound January transfer move.

Defoe also misses Portsmouth's FA Cup Final clash with Cardiff next week after he played in the third round against Reading for Spurs earlier this season.

Defoe said: “I am sure it will hit me what I am missing out on when we are all sat on the coach going to the FA Cup Final.

“All the other players will be getting out of their suits and putting on their shirts but I will be going up to the stands to watch the action. That will hurt but I still feel this has been a successful season and I aim to complete it by getting a goal against Fulham.

“I still feel this has been a successful season for me even though I have missed out on two Wembley finals. I am playing first team football, getting goals and I'm very happy at Portsmouth and know I made the right move.

“Hopefully I can sign off this season with a goal against Fulham. I'm enjoying life at Fratton Park and am already looking forward to next season.

“Fulham will be a tough test because they have so much to play for but I can't wait to get out on that pitch.”

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