Koroman eager to make debut against Chelsea

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The Independent Football

Ognjen Koroman insists he is ready for first-team action in Portsmouth's fight against relegation and he wants to make his debut for the club against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.

The 27-year-old, who is on loan from the Russian side Terek Grozny, was one of nine signings made during the transfer window. "I wasn't match-fit when I arrived because the Russian season had ended in November," Koroman, a Serbia & Montenegro international, said yesterday.

"Now I have played some reserve games and I am ready for the first team. I am available to play against Chelsea but it is up to Harry Redknapp as the manager. It will be a difficult debut against the best team in England but one I would love. Arjen Robben is very good and it would be a big fight between us.

"There is extra interest because Robben's Netherlands team are in Serbia's group in the World Cup. So I can also look forward to playing against him then."

Redknapp has claimed moves to sign Koroman and Emmanuel Olisadebe were made before he took over and this may explain their lack of chances. However, Redknapp is understood to have been impressed by Koroman's creativity in two reserve games and he may now get his opportunity.

The striker Collins Mbesuma, who was signed in the summer, has been less impressive and will be loaned out for the rest of the season, according to his agent.