Pompey defender wants to reward fans

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Tal Ben-Haim would like nothing more than to give Portsmouth's fans the perfect 'gift' at the end of a season to forget with FA Cup glory over Chelsea at Wembley on Saturday.

Pompey have lurched from one financial disaster to another, eventually leading to administration, the docking of nine points and relegation from the Barclays Premier League. Yet against all the odds, Avram Grant guided Pompey to the final, having beaten Tottenham in the semi-final at Wembley.

"I have never seen fans that even when we lose and play badly and with all the bad situations that we have had this season still come to cheer us," he said. "If we can make them happy that would be the best gift for them."

The Israel defender joined Chelsea on a free transfer from Bolton during the summer of 2007.

Although he played against Manchester United in the FA Community Shield at Wembley, Ben-Haim found himself down the pecking order at Stamford Bridge following the impressive form of Brazilian Alex, and eventually joined Manchester City after only 13 Barclays Premier League appearances.

The 28-year-old moved on, after a loan spell at Sunderland, to Fratton Park last summer for what would turn out to be a rollercoaster ride.

While the futures of players like Ben-Haim remain unclear beyond Saturday's showpiece, the Israeli maintains Pompey are focused on pulling off what would be one of the greatest shocks in the history of the famous old competition.

"In football you do not need to have fear. You need a lot of desire and passion to try to do your best," Ben-Haim declared.

"After the game if you come back to the dressing room having done your best, even if it is not good enough we will not be very, very disappointed. But in one game anything can happen."

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Tal Ben-Haim
FA Cup

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