Kranjcar hopes for Euro spot
Niko Kranjcar is desperate to feature for Portsmouth in their Uefa Cup clash with Wolfsburg.
By Chris Burton
Last Updated: 02/12/08 5:20pm
Niko Kranjcar is desperate to feature for Portsmouth in their Uefa Cup clash with Wolfsburg on Thursday.
The Croatia international has seen his season blighted by injuries, with a long-running ankle problem hindering his progress.
As a result, he is yet to appear in European action for the 2008 FA Cup winners this term.
However, he is now fully fit again following a recent spell on the sidelines and is hoping Tony Adams will hand him an opportunity to shine in continental competition when Pompey head to Germany.
"I didn't even feel my ankle was right enough to be on the bench last week against Milan," Kranjcar told The News.
"I told that to the gaffer and said once I am fit I am going to be able to give everything on the pitch. Now I feel I can do that.
"It felt great last Friday and I knew I was ready to take part against Blackburn (on Sunday). Happily for me I came on as a substitute and we got the win.
"I felt fine afterwards and hopefully I can start the next game against Wolfsburg.
"We know they have a 100 per cent record, but we go there with a team of real quality players.
"We are definitely a team with enough about us to go away and get a win in Europe.
"Obviously, I was very unhappy at not being able to feature against Milan, but I am young enough to hopefully have many more nights like that.
"Europe is why I joined this football club and it would mean a lot to me to feature on Thursday."
Kranjcar also believes Pompey are capable of making an impact in the Uefa Cup this season, despite enduring a disappointing start to the group stages.
"People like David James, Kanu and Sol Campbell arrived at the same time and sent a message out that this football club wanted to go places, that it wanted to go towards the European tournament," added the 24-year-old.
"We knew we had the quality and the coaching staff to come into Europe - that's why I joined.
"If I didn't know that Sol was here or David or Kanu, I probably wouldn't have come. But when you see those big players are here that makes all the difference.
"I think it's not only me. Lots of players came because they knew it was going to be a big challenge to play in Europe and do well in the Premier League."