Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Shoot 'Em Down

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Shoot 'Em Down

Article excerpt

Byline: Adam Steel

In-form hitman Yakubu is aiming to shoot down his former club Portsmouth at the Riverside tomorrow.

Boro's leading marksman is set to start against his old side for the first time since completing a pounds 7.5m summer switch from Fratton Park.

The Nigerian enjoyed a prolific spell on the South Coast, scoring 36 Pompey goals in the last two seasons.

But he will have no room for sentiment come 5.15pm tomorrow, and is instead focusing on helping "bigger club" Boro claim three points.

"I had two-and-a-half good years at Portsmouth, but that's gone, you have to move on as a player," he said.

"I'm glad I came here, it's a bigger club with a better stadium and training facilities and I'm ambitious and want to learn more. It's a great opportunity for me and I want to help my new team achieve something.

"It won't be easy against Portsmouth, they have some good players who are settling in and they know me very well, but it is a big game for us.

"We have to believe in ourselves and go for three points.

"I'm looking forward to the game, I wouldn't say it's special just because it's my old club though, because every game is special that you play."

Yakubu made a slow start to life at Boro but has blasted into top shape with four goals in his last four Premiership starts.

The 22-year-old came into his own before the international break in particular, netting twice as a lone striker in Boro's 3-2 win at Aston Villa.

Ominously for Pompey, and Premiership defences, he thinks he can only get better and is tracking 20 goals - and UEFA Cup victory this term.

"There is still more to come from me, it's still just the beginning of the season and we have a lot of UEFA Cup games to play as well," he said.

"Every time I score and play well it gives me more confidence. I scored 17 goals last season and 19 the season before and it would be nice if I could score 20 this season. …

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