Pompey goal machine has Cherries in his sights

Blues forward Nicke Kabamba
Blues forward Nicke Kabamba
Pompey beat Charlton to help get back on track and must continue to push on. Picture: Joe Pepler

Jackett: There can be no slacking from Pompey’s players

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POMPEY’s five-goal star is gunning for the chance to test himself against a Premier League defence.

And Nicke Kabamba believes he’s in the shape of his life as he continues to gear up for the new campaign.

Kabamba smashed in five goals in the 8-0 win against Newport IW on Tuesday night – including a seven-minute hat-trick.

Now the former non-league marksman is hoping for the chance to pit his wits against top-flight opposition tomorrow.

Bournemouth arrive at Fratton Park after recruiting the likes of Jermain Defoe and Asmir Begovic this summer.

The Cherries have also shelled out £20m on Chelsea defender Nathan Ake.

Kabamba, who was playing in National League South for Hampton & Richmond last term, would relish the chance to go up against such high-profile opposition.

Kabamba said: ‘The change from Newport is going to be drastic! But we’ve been working hard in training and putting things in place.

‘It’s a good game and we’ll be ready for what we face.

‘We need a strong test. We’re going into the season in a couple of weeks now.

‘So we need to be pushed and playing against powerful opposition. Bournemouth are certainly that.

‘It would be good to get some more minutes in the tank against them.

‘That will really help – but it’s all about being ready for August 5.’

Kabamba has outlined his hopes of being able to pick up first-team minutes at League One level in the new campaign.

The striker knows he has to be in a position to seize any opportunity which comes his way.

Pompey boss Kenny Jackett has made that clear to him.

‘The manager has spoken to everyone and stamped his philosophy of pressing high and winning the ball back on the team,’ said Kabamba.

‘I’ve been told to make sure I’m training hard and playing well – then the chances will come.

‘I’m in the best shape of my life. I couldn’t have asked to be in better shape.

‘There’s been a lot of ball work and we all can’t wait to get started.

‘The club’s gone through a good transition in a way, because the new manager has arrived but nothing has changed too much.

‘Everyone’s pushing to play and there’s no bad eggs in the camp. Everyone’s really pushing hard to make an impression before the start of the season.’

– JORDAN CROSS