Pompey arrivals set to miss out
By Lewis Rutledge
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Harry Redknapp has insisted that he will not rush his new signings into action.
Portsmouth boss Harry Redknapp has insisted that he will not rush his new signings into action.
Andy Cole, Niko Kranjcar and Rodolph Douala all joined Pompey on transfer deadline day, while highly-rated midfielder Manuel Fernandes also sealed a loan move to the club last week.
However, Cole and Fernandes are not yet ready to play following injury problems and will miss Saturday's clash against Wigan.
Croatia midfielder Kranjcar and Cameroon international Douala, meanwhile, have had little time to settle at Fratton Park and are not set to be risked by Redknapp.
"Coley has trained with us this week but he is still short (of fitness) and might need a reserve match next week before he is ready to start," Redknapp explained.
"Kranjcar only arrived on Thursday after playing for Croatia in Russia. He doesn't know anybody here yet.
"And the other lad Douala is still settling in as well, although he might be a possibility for the subs' bench.
"There is no sense in rushing them - particularly after the fantastic start we have had."
Portsmouth have accumulated seven points from their first three games and Redknapp admits that deciding who to leave out each week is becoming a nightmare.
Glen Johnson has made a remarkable recovery from the ankle injury he picked up against Middlesbrough, while Tresor Lomana Lua Lua has also returned to fitness after months on the sidelines.
Redknapp feels that the competition for places will drive his players on and ensure that they do not take their foot off the gas.
"It is a huge dilemma who to pick - even without the new lads, but it is just the situation I have always wanted here," he said.
"Glen Johnson has made a fantastic recovery. His injury looked nasty at first but it has turned out to be strained ligaments and bone bruising. The problem is that Noe Pamarot was outstanding in his place."
Pompey can move top of The Premiership, possibly only for a few hours, with victory over Wigan, but Redknapp is refusing to get carried away.
"I'm desperate to field the best side I can against Wigan and keep our run going. Talking about being top of The Premiership is not what I want to do at this stage," he commented.
"It has been a great start but there are still 35 tough games to go and Wigan is one of them.
"Now we have the competition in the squad that I've always wanted and we'll see how far we can go with it.
"Any team in the Premiership can go on a horrendous run and slip down the table. You have to keep your feet on the ground."