Nugent to kick-start career against old club?

February 12, 2008

Portsmouth's £6million misfit David Nugent could kick-start his career back at Preston in the FA Cup on Sunday.

With new signing Jermain Defoe cup-tied after playing for Tottenham in two previous rounds, Nugent may get the chance to face his old club in the fifth round at Deepdale - 17 days after a hernia operation.

He is currently in Spain, training with the Pompey squad on a four-day break after manager Harry Redknapp ruled out suggestion of loaning him back to North End or any other side.

Redknapp also has another new striker, Milan Baros, available and Kanu back from the African Nations Cup, but Nugent has always been the team's number one choice in the cup this season.

The 22-year-old, yet to score for Pompey in a league match after just four starts, hit the winner in the FA Cup third round at Ipswich and then limped off injured in the fourth-round victory over Plymouth.

He has also played in Portsmouth's three Carling Cup ties this season, scoring twice more against Leeds and Burnley, and Redknapp said: 'He's getting fit and we are without Defoe on Sunday. So we'll see how we go.'

Redknapp hoped the trip to Marbella would give his squad a sunshine break but has found temperatures there no warmer than at home.

He told the club's website: 'Aston Villa are also here and Bolton were here last week.

'Bolton's manager Gary Megson told me he got his head sunburnt, but although that's not going to happen to us it is good to get the boys away and take advantage of some great training facilities.'

Only Sulley Muntari - just back from Ghana's Nations Cup campaign - is missing from Pompey's first-team squad in Spain and Redknapp is hoping key defender Sylvain Distin, who has missed the last two games with a hamstring injury, will be fit to face Preston.