Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Robert Discovers a New Work Ethic

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Robert Discovers a New Work Ethic

Article excerpt

Byline: By Bill Pierce

Relegation-fighting Portsmouth are trying to talk Laurent Robert into staying at Fratton Park for at least the rest of the season.

The 30-year-old winger thought his days were numbered with Pompey when caretaker boss Joe Jordan dropped him against Chelsea and then manager Harry Redknapp returned to the club and only made him a substitute.

But he was given his chance again in the starting line-up in last Saturday's first home win of the season against West Brom ( and worked hard instead of waiting for set-pieces or for the ball to be fed to him.

Now Redknapp hopes the 30-year-old Frenchman, on loan from Newcastle, can repeat the feat against West Ham on Boxing Day.

The player admits he has heard rumours that French Club Marseille are keen to take over his contract in the January transfer window.

Robert knows for sure he will not be returning to St James's Park, where he arrived in an pounds 8.5m deal from Paris St Germain five years ago ( and subsequently castigated the methods of successive managers Sir Bobby Robson and Graeme Souness.

Newcastle chairman Freddie Shepherd has already insisted the Magpies would never take him back.

But Robert said: "Some say it is the usual transfer stories this time of year.

"But I think it is perfectly possible Marseille would try to sign a player like me."

He told France Football magazine: "Liverpool were interested in me when I left Newcastle in the summer and I also had chances to join Everton and Bolton and some top Scottish clubs.

"But I came to Portsmouth because of Alain Perrin and it is a pity his job has not worked out."

Redknapp, though, is ready to rise to the challenge of getting the best out of the former France international.

The 58-year-old picked nine of the players who were with him in his first session in charge for the opening match of his second spell at Tottenham ( with Robert on the bench ( but he promoted him to the starting line-up for last Saturday's success. …

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