Pompey ace tips Futacs for big things

Marko Futacs celebrates his goal against Watford with Tal Ben Haim
Marko Futacs celebrates his goal against Watford with Tal Ben Haim
Molly Clark came into the Pompey Ladies side and scored against Luton. Picture: Jordan Hampton

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Hayden Mullins praised Marko Futacs’ Pompey impact after another impressive goal-scoring display.

The 21-year-old Futacs made it two goals in two Blues starts with the opener against Watford yesterday.

His 54th-minute header put Michael Appleton’s side on the way to a 2-0 Fratton Park success.

Mullins grabbed the other as Pompey produced their best all-round display under their new manager.

But it was Futacs who shone brightest, with another eye-catching display.

The Hungarian striker also rattled the crossbar in stoppage time during an outstanding performance.

It followed his full debut at Leicester 48 hours earlier when he also opened the scoring in a 1-1 draw.

And Mullins believes Futacs is destined for big things.

He said: ‘Marko can be as good as he wants to be. He’s only 21 and has got a lot of time in the game.

‘If he keeps playing the way he is playing, he will have a lot of people looking at him.

‘He’s a good striker who is a handful and, with his age, is one you can work with.

‘The ball we put in for his goal was just what he needed and it was a great header.

‘Marko has done really well for us, holds the ball up well, he chases, he gets his head on it – he has shown what a danger he can be.

‘Defenders can’t get around him and he can move the ball. He’s really important for us.

‘You can get it into him up there, he can hold it and he brings other people into play, too.

‘He’s a big unit to get around and has a hell of a shot on him.

‘It is what he deserves. He is getting a run in the team and has taken it.’

Futacs arrived from German side Werder Bremen on a free transfer back in August.

But despite Steve Cotterill’s faith in the striker, he has only emerged as a first-team contender in recent weeks.

During that time, Futacs has had to learn the English game on the training ground, a settling-in period which has taken plenty of time.

He has finally been given a chance in the starting line-up by Appleton to show what he is capable of.

And Mullins admitted now fans are seeing what the towering striker is all about.

He added: ‘Coming from the German game as a Hungarian and into English football, it is always going to take a little bit of time to adapt.

‘Marko has had to get used to defenders grappling him, all over him and pushing him in the back as he tries to protect the ball.

‘Maybe in Europe the strikers are a bit more protected but over here he has adapted his game and taken it on to the field.’