Football

Portsmouth Vs West Ham United, Tue 26 Jan 2010

No return for Nugent (©PAphotos)
No return for Nugent (©PAphotos).

Portsmouth striker David Nugent is unavailable for the Premier League clash with West Ham at Fratton Park, despite returning to training with the south coast club.

Nugent has been on loan at Burnley and his deal with the Clarets does not expire until midnight on Tuesday preventing him from featuring in the vital game.



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David James is reportedly on the brink of joining Stoke but trained with the team today but Mike Williamson is in Newcastle to discuss joining the Magpies and definitely misses out.

Papa Bouba Diop (hamstring), Michael Brown (back) and Steve Finnan (groin) are doubtful too, but Tommy Smith (groin) is back in training and may feature. African Nations Cup stars Aruna Dindane, Nadir Belhadj, Hassan Yebda and Kanu are all absent.

Portsmouth first-team coach Paul Groves is looking for his side to continue their weekend momentum.

Pompey claimed a 2-1 win over Sunderland in the FA Cup fourth round at the weekend to set up a meeting with south coast rivals Southampton.

While the victory over the Black Cats did not garner three much-needed points, Groves hopes his team will pick up their fifth league win of the season on Tuesday night.

He said: "Wins breed confidence and any win in any cup can give us a springboard and something we can build on.

"They're all big games - especially the home games and especially the ones against the teams in and around us.

"But this is one we can look forward to on the back of a result and performance like the one we had on Saturday."

England striker Carlton Cole is back in the West Ham squad.

Cole has recovered from his knee injury and is likely to start on the bench.

Danny Gabbidon and Kieron Dyer remain sidelined but coach Gianfranco Zola has no fresh injury doubts.

Gianfranco Zola insists West Ham have the stability they crave under new owners David Sullivan and David Gold.

The pair took control of the club last week in a deal which valued the club at around #105million. The former Birmingham supremos have already pledged to give Zola cash for new players, particularly a striker, before the end of the January transfer window.

The takeover was music to Zola's ears after the Italian had struggled to keep the side out of the Barclays Premier League relegation zone under CB Holdings - their previous cash-strapped Icelandic owners.

"I think it's positive for the club," declared Zola. "We are going to have the stability we've been talking about for such a long time. I think it's a positive thing for everybody. We'll see what happens, but it's looking good.

"The main thing they've already done is to bring stability and keep all the players we have in the team. We are not selling anybody.

"That's a big thing for everybody. Now they're trying to strengthen the team and they're working very hard on that. They want to bring someone in and they're working hard on that."

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Topics:
Portsmouth
Football
Premier League

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