Delap acknowledges dip in form

BY foxsports • February 19, 2010

The midfielder, whose long throws tend to disguise his skill with the ball at his feet, is his own harshest critic. Despite starting in 21 of 24 league games, the 33-year-old feels he can do better. He is looking to retain his place in the side against Portsmouth on Saturday at Fratton Park following the draw with Manchester City. Delap said: "I have been in and out of the team a little bit. But I have not been too happy with my form in a few of the games. "Whether that is age or not I don't know. When I've had a rest and missed a couple of matches it has done me good. "I think that has shown in my performances when I have come back into the side. "Playing Saturday, Tuesday, I do feel it in my legs. But some of the younger lads are saying pretty much the same thing. "It is hard to remember what you were like at 23-24. There is a bit of tiredness there but that is only natural now. "While the results have been pretty pleasing, I still want to play every game." Cash-strapped Portsmouth are struggling at the foot of the table and former Southampton midfielder Delap has first-hand knowledge of how money matters can impact badly on players. He said: "I have been at a club where the financial side has gone awry. People say it doesn't have an effect on the team but it did with us. Southampton ended up getting relegated. "Usually what happens is the manager's situation changes so many times, you cannot string good results together. "Portsmouth are in a worse situation financially than Southampton were in. "They will be like a wounded animal. The last few weeks the team have picked up and they are not far off getting out of trouble. "However we are confident we can win every game we go into, which shows how far we have come as a group." Manager Tony Pulis cannot wait to "turn 40" and savour the moment. That is the points tally he is aiming for to secure the club's top-flight status for a third season. Stoke are currently on 31 and Pulis said: "I just want to get to 40 points as quick as I can. That is a big thing for this club. "Then we can look forward to doing it again in the third year. This club will be different then, I am convinced."

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