Cotterill has high hopes for towering Futacs

Marko Futacs
Marko Futacs
Pompey's Gareth Evans. Picture: Joe Pepler

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As strong as two oxen and armed with a cannon for a left foot.

Steve Cotterill understandably has lofty ambitions for Pompey powerhouse Marko Futacs.

The strapping striker was the club’s lowest -profile signing of a busy summer following a successful week’s trial.

Yet his Blues boss is expecting big, big things.

Admittedly, these are still early days for the 6ft 5in Hugarian under-21 international.

Having joined on a one-year deal with the option for an additional 12 months, Cotterill believes time is required to develop.

Nonetheless, illness followed by a rib problem have kept Dave Kitson out of Pompey’s squad for the last two matches.

And that ubsequently provided Futacs with the opportunity to climb off the bench against both West Ham and Hull.

For fans, it was nothing more than a fleeting glimpse of the giant-like figure.

But Cotterill has seen more than enough to predict a bright future.

He said: ‘Marko is big, he’s strong and he’s got a hell of a left-foot strike on him.

‘He’s actually bigger and stronger than the rest of them, even Benjani.

‘Benjani is as strong as an ox but this guy is as strong as two oxen.

‘If you bump into him you don’t move him.

‘He’s huge, a real, real big lad and when he backs in it is going to be difficult to get the ball off him.

‘Marko also scores some goals in training.

‘His left foot is like a hammer.

‘If he gets a chance eight-yards out the keeper doesn’t save it.

‘It kills the keeper. He won’t save it.

‘You think Greg Halford strikes a ball but this boy can properly strike a ball.

‘It is like a cannon when it leaves him.

‘He has got some great potential. There are a few things he needs to work on, such as his movement and running.

‘We think his running gait is all over the place. If he can tidy that up he may get a bit quicker.

‘Movement is not necessarily going to be his asset, his strength will be his asset.

‘We need to make him better in the air, it looks like he hasn’t headed a football for a couple of years, if ever maybe. He’s not the best in the air.

‘But this lad will only get better with age.

‘He will be exactly the same as Steven Howard was early on.’

Futacs left Werder Bremen in the summer with a year remaining on his deal.

He had previously spent last season on loan at German second division side FC Ingolstadt 04.

After being invited to Fratton Park for a trial, he netted in a 4-0 behind-closed-doors friendly with Swindon.

It was enough to convince the club to take a gamble on the youngster and snap him up.

But Pompey’s manager has stressed the importance of not rushing the young striker’s development.

He said: ‘Marko is in the same boat as Erik (Huseklepp).

‘Some days in training it can go on all around him.

‘But they will settle in time. We just have to wait and see.

‘There is no big rush with these lads, we have got to carry on working with them out there.

‘Hopefully they will produce on a Saturday for us and do the things we want them to bring.

‘Marko’s here for a year and we have that option on him on top of that.

‘We definitely wanted that. There is no way we are going to bring him here, work with him here and then tee him up for somebody else.

‘The option is the club’s, we need to wait and see how he goes.

‘But we have got time and security.’