Middlesborough 0 Portsmouth 4: Portsmouth off to slick start as new boys strike

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The Independent Online

Portsmouth striker Kanu urged his team-mates not to get too carried away after they climbed to second after three games in the Barclays Premiership by thumping Middlesbrough 4-0 at the Riverside Stadium.

The Nigerian took his tally for the season to four with a brace and Benjani Mwaruwari added Pompey's second. The win was given added gloss in injury-time when Svetoslav Todorov added a fourth.

They looked dangerous going forward and solid at the back but Kanu warned: "We don't have to be carried away - we have to keep going.

"When you keep scoring you have the confidence back and I want to play good football. When you play in a good side who keep the ball, everyone works hard and I keep playing for the team."

Goalkeeper David James felt the team's strength at the back was also vital to his side's impressive start.

"Defensively, we were sound again - in all three games we were very tight," he told Sky Sports.

"We've done the work on the training field and it's showing dividends on the pitch and, if we don't let goals in, it gives us the chance to win games.

"We just need to keep playing well; it's important for teams like Portsmouth not to get carried away, we just have to keep the performances going and see where it takes us."

Pompey boss Harry Redknapp admitted his surprise that he had signed Kanu seemingly unchallenged by any other club.

"He was sitting around all summer and no one else wanted to take him - anybody could have had him, he was waiting for a chance and he's been fantastic," Redknapp said.

"It was a good performance, we did ever so well tonight. It's about good defenders, Linvoy (Primus), Sol (Campbell) and the 'keeper have done really well and I'm delighted to have Sol at the club. He's a rock.

"Everybody we've gone for we've failed to get and four of the five we have brought in have been frees. But if we get a few injuries, we will be bang in trouble."

Asked how midfielder Pedro Mendes was feeling following the horror challenge inflicted on him by Ben Thatcher at Manchester City last week, Redknapp said: "Hopefully he will not be out too long. He is recovering, I've been around to see him and he's in good shape."

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