I never thought of quitting, says Hart

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The Portsmouth manager, Paul Hart, insists he never considered walking away from the club, despite being under severe pressure when his side failed to collect a single point from their opening seven matches.

Questions were being asked about Hart's ability to steer Portsmouth away from danger, but victory at Blackburn tomorrow could lift them out of the bottom three in the Premier League after they have taken four points from their last two games. Despite the club's catalogue of off-field problems, Hart says he had no intention of quitting Fratton Park and believes few other managers would have taken on the challenge.

He said: "I have never walked away from a job. I've been sacked, but I've never walked away. To be fair, who would want to take this job on? What people do is they wait until you get into a good position and then all of a sudden they say, 'Oh, that's a good job.'"

Victory for Pompey would take them above Blackburn on goal difference, while Wolverhampton could drop into the bottom three as they face a tough game at home to Arsenal.

But Hart is not concerned about whether the Gunners can do his side a favour. He said: "I'm not looking at who's playing, but I am looking at us. I know that if we get three points, we move. That's important psychologically for everybody going into the international break. It would compound their belief in their performances and what they have done over the last couple of months.

"They've played extremely well without a lot of reward for it. Psychologically, I think moving off the bottom this week would be massive for us."

One man who could be crucial is the Ivory Coast international Aruna Dindane. The Lens loanee had failed to score in four league appearances prior to last Saturday's 4-0 win over Wigan at Fratton Park. But Dindane answered his critics with a stunning hat-trick and Hart hopes to see more of the same at Ewood Park.

He said: "I think that's what he has been missing. He's very hard on himself and he felt that he should have scored before then. Now he has to maintain that form, but apart from scoring goals, his performances have been excellent. He has managed his frustrations and got on with his job. It's like all centre-forwards, they want to score."

Despite Dindane's progress, Hart may be forced to enter the transfer market for another striker in January.

With Dindane and Nigerian veteran Kanu likely to be selected for the African Nations Cup, Hart's forward resources look set to be depleted.

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