O'Hara considers permanent Pompey switch

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The Independent Online

Portsmouth midfielder Jamie O'Hara admits he would consider making his loan move from Tottenham permanent if he is unlikely to start regularly at White Hart Lane.

The 22-year-old moved to the South Coast in search of matches after being restricted to substitute appearances for Spurs in the opening games of the season.

Despite signing a four-year deal shortly before his departure, O'Hara had no intention of spending the campaign warming the bench in North London.

And the midfielder is not ruling out making his move to Fratton Park permanent, should his chances of regular starts at Spurs diminish.

"I wanted to sign a new deal at Tottenham, but I also want to play football," he explained. "Being at Portsmouth is a learning curve and it's a chance for me to show everyone what I can do.

"If I enjoy it down here and Tottenham bring in a few players during the January transfer window, maybe there will be an option to stay here.

"I'm looking forward to giving my best for the club and the manager, and you never know what will happen. If I do well, something might happen.

"I've come here to play and if I play and I'm enjoying my football, then why wouldn't I want to stay?"

One ambition O'Hara harbours is to stake his claim for a place in England manager Fabio Capello's squad for next summer's World Cup.

While the midfielder knows he faces a huge fight for a plane ticket to South Africa, he believes being a regular at Fratton Park will certainly help his case.

He added: "Obviously, it's a big ask to be pushing on for England. But once I have the confidence in my ability from playing week in, week out, hopefully someone will pick up on that.

"Hopefully, I can start pushing myself into that squad and it would be nice to get in - it would be a fantastic achievement.

"I'm going to get my head down here and work as hard as I can."

Despite having no shortage of offers to move elsewhere, O'Hara had no qualms about joining a club which is bottom of the Premier League with no points from four games.

He said: "I had a few clubs interested. I won't say which clubs they were but there were four or five who wanted me.

"I chose Portsmouth because of the way the manager spoke when I had a chat to him.

"I thought I was going to come here and play a lot of games. I basically bit his hand off for the chance to come here and play football."

In a manic end to the summer transfer window, Portsmouth also recruited Kevin-Prince Boateng in a £4million deal from Tottenham.

The German spent the end of the last season on loan at Borussia Dortmund after struggling to make an impact at White Hart Lane.

But O'Hara said: "A lot of people haven't really known much about Prince because he didn't get a chance at Tottenham, but I think he's a special player.

"If he gets the confidence and he's playing games week in, week out, they will have got a steal.

"They tried to play him as a defensive midfielder at Tottenham but that's not his game. He's an attacking midfielder - he's a (Luka) Modric-type player.

"He can do things out of the blue, so you have to give him a free role and let him do his thing."