Metgod wants Portsmouth to learn Greek lesson

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The Independent Football

Johnny Metgod, the Portsmouth first-team coach, believes the club's new Greek contingent can help to reinvigorate their flagging season, starting against Liverpool on Saturday.

Metgod is impressed by the transfer window signings Angelos Basinas, who arrived in a deadline-day switch from AEK Athens, and the striker Theofanis Gekas, who has agreed a loan deal from Bayer Leverkusen until the end of the season. With Tony Adams' side struggling for both form and points in the Premier League, Metgod believes the duo can lift their team-mates.

"The signings we did were good," he said. "Gekas has got a very good goalscoring record, not only in Greece but in Germany, where he played for Bochum first and then Leverkusen.

"And I think Basinas is a very clever, intelligent midfield player," Metgod added. "He has a lot of experience and is a good passer of the ball. I think he has good vision."

Liverpool come to Fratton Park having defeated Chelsea 2-0 in their last League outing and, while Metgod accepts it will not be an easy match, he insists Pompey's latest additions must approach the game positively.

"They will both be assets to the group and to the squad. Hopefully, they can produce, starting straight away against Liverpool," he said.

"I think even though it is Liverpool for their first game, they must always play to get three points. I am absolutely sure we have got to be motivated – in this situation you must go for the win."

Other new additions on the South Coast during the winter window included the winger Jermaine Pennant, who arrived on loan from Liverpool, having previously been linked with Real Madrid, and Hayden Mullins, who was brought in from West Ham United to replace Lassana Diarra, one player who did leave England for the Bernabeu.

Reflecting on the squad changes, Metgod added: "It is good, we know now what players we've got. They have settled in very well. Jermaine has been good so far, he has got a lot of pace and he has got to try and get some crosses into the big man [Peter Crouch]. Hayden has done well in midfield, he is a good player on the ball and has good energy.

Peter Storrie, the Portsmouth chief executive, has told BBC Radio Solent that there are "one or two interested parties" in the club, which was put up for sale by the owner Alexandre Gaydamak in December.

Gaydamak is hoping to sell because of an increased commitment in other parts of his business empire but it is understood any such interest is still in the early stages and no announcement is planned.