Utaka baffled by Harry’s tactics

Nigeria international John Utaka has launched a scathing attack on former Portsmouth and current Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp.

The 28-year-old moved to Fratton Park from Rennes in a £7million switch in the summer of 2007 since when he has started just 46 matches for the club, finding the net only nine times.

Much of his time on the south coast has been spent on Pompey's substitute's bench, although he has recently returned to the starting line-up under Avram Grant's stewardship.

Utaka told the Portsmouth News:"I honestly think I can show what I can do as a central striker. That's where I want to play. I can't give my best from playing on the flanks.

"In France I scored hat-tricks in successive games against Lyon and Lens as a striker. I played most my games in that position. Harry Redknapp knew my role because he came to watch me – but he changed it to play me wide.

"He told me 'I want to use you on the flanks because of your speed.' I wasn't really happy, but sometimes you cannot challenge the opinions of the manager. Sometimes I really should have said something.

"In some games when I didn't really perform well, it was a combination of the whole thing because I wasn't happy. That's because on the wing is not my position, I'm short of what I am supposed to do.

"When you play down the middle, you have a 100 per cent chance to commit defenders. When they make mistakes, it's bye-bye.

"I'm glad Avram Grant sees me as a central striker. Before, nobody knew what position I was playing right-back, right midfield, goalkeeper. For me it's not about confidence, it's about opportunities and, as a striker, you can torment people."

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