Utaka ready to deliver
John Utaka admits he has taken time to adapt to the Premier League, but says he is now ready to deliver.
Last Updated: 26/04/08 3:43pm
Portsmouth striker John Utaka admits he has taken time to adapt to the Premier League, but he insists he is now ready to show what he can do.
Harry Redknapp has had a wealth of strikers at Fratton Park this term, with Utaka competing with Kanu, Benjani, David Nugent, Milan Baros and Jermain Defoe at various points in the season.
And while Benjani took the majority of the plaudits in the first half of the season and Defoe has proved the most dangerous since he came in during the transfer window, Utaka is confident he can start to make his mark - particularly if he is given a chance to play in the FA Cup final.
"The fans here have not seen the best of me yet," he said. "This season has been a learning exercise, just as I expected.
"Next season will be a lot brighter from me - that I promise.
"I wasn't fit for the semi-final but I was there cheering the team and I saw how wide the pitch was at Wembley. I thought it would suit me very well if I could make it for the final."
While Utaka has impressed in spells this season, at times he has found life difficult since arriving at Portsmouth.
And after playing in Egypt with Ismaily and then in France with Lens and Rennes, he admits coping with the pace of the Premier League has been one of his biggest challenges.
"The first thing about playing in England I remember was at Derby having to stop and catch my breath and ask myself, 'Just what exactly is going on here?'
"It was that fast - although I think I've become more used to that and the more physical style now - and far different from in France and Egypt.
"We've done well as a team, especially our great away record this season.
"But what has been disappointing for me personally is that there have been times when I have tried to do something and knew the ability was there to do it but for some reason it didn't work.
"I look at the videos of matches and my performances and still can't find the full answer but I'm hopeful it will come with more experience.
"I'm feeling very good at the moment and ready to do well."