Boateng out to boost Pompey push

Portsmouth midfielder Kevin-Prince Boateng is determined to make

Ghana’s loss Pompey’s gain after missing out on the African Nations

Cup.

Boateng – who qualifies for the Black Stars through his

father – was not selected for their African Nations Cup squad and

so will remain in England to help Pompey’s survival battle, which

continues at Fratton Park on Wednesday night against Premier League

title challengers Arsenal.

The former Tottenham midfielder, 22, believes if he can

continue to produce the goods for Pompey, then there is no reason

why he could not be on the plane to the World Cup next summer.

“Obviously it would have been an unbelievable thing for me to

play African Nations for Ghana – but it looks now like I will not

go,” said Boateng, who was born in Germany and had represented them

at Under-21 level.

“Still, I am just happy to play for Portsmouth and try to

keep them up, so both ways I would be happy.

“Ghana is 100% my future, though. I want to play for the

Black Stars.

“In the meantime, I am concentrating on Portsmouth and we

have got to keep going and playing football.

“If we stay up I think there is a big chance for me to go to

the World Cup.”

Former Arsenal striker Kanu has been cleared by Nigeria to

face his old club before heading off to the African Nations Cup,

along with Algeria duo Hassan Yebda and Nadir Belhadj.

The Ivory Coast’s Aruna Dindane may also be given

dispensation to play ahead of the tournament in Angola. Boateng

left White Hart Lane for Fratton Park in the summer and is hoping

to get the better of his former club’s arch rivals tonight, having

been part of the Spurs team which thrashed Arsenal 5-1 in the

Carling Cup two seasons ago.

“I came on as a sub against Arsenal in the 5-1 semi-final

win, and at the Emirates when we got a draw, so I have got good

memories of playing against Arsenal,” he said. “That was one of my

happiest memories from my time at Tottenham because it’s one of the

biggest games for the supporters.

“I am not expecting to win 5-1 again, but just 1-0 would be

unbelievable.

“We need the points so we’ll get out there and try to make it

as hard for Arsenal as possible.

“If you play against a big team, you concentrate and focus

because you know if you make one mistake, it’s a goal.

“Arsenal are one of the best teams in the world, so we have

to be focused and concentrated against the teams around us and

switch it on 100%.

“The thing with us is that we know we have to get a result

every weekend because it’s so hard to get out of the bottom three.”