The Pompey Interview: Lomana Lualua

Lomana Lualua scores his second goal in the 'Demolition Derby'
Lomana Lualua scores his second goal in the 'Demolition Derby'
Nathan Thompson, right, has returned from injury. Picture: Sarah Standing

Pompey defender explains importance of Wigan clash

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They’re the heartbeat of the club.

And that’s what convinces Lomana Lualua Pompey are in safe hands.

The Blues great told The News today he’s desperate to make a return to the city he regards as his home.

Lualua wants to perform for the fans he sees as his family – and to know they now decide Pompey’s direction is music to his ears.

‘It’s the best thing for me,’ said the man who spent three years at Fratton Park from 2004 to 2007.

‘The fans are the ones with the love and passion for the club. For them to run it is the best thing. You can’t beat that.

Lomana Lualua applauds the Pompey fans

Lomana Lualua applauds the Pompey fans

‘I hear there are a lot of the people there still. I told Kev the Kitman he’ll become chairman one day!

‘These people are part of the club’s history. I can’t see Portsmouth without these people.

‘I’m jealous of all of them, though. They’re there. I’m itching to get back!

‘The fans? Come on! We’re getting thrashed by Arsenal and they are singing “we’re gonna win 6-5!” They give you extra energy.

‘The stadium, too. Not many people used to like coming to Fratton Park. I believe the fans are the club.’

Lualua left a kaleidoscope of memories for Pompey fans to savour, moments he feels he won’t taint with a return. But there’s of course one which stands out.

Sunday, April 24, 2005: Demolition derby. Lualua played through the pain, scored two goals to put Pompey 4-0 up against their rivals and left the field before the half-hour mark

Lualua said: ‘That game! I think I played about 25 minutes!

‘There was a lot of history behind that game and feeling with Harry (Redknapp) coming back. It was something everybody wanted so much. It was intense.

‘It wasn’t just scoring but winning that game which made it so important. To be part of that was amazing.

‘I was injured but knew how important that game was. I had the injections but wanted to play in that game. We could lose games but not this one.

‘We were going through a hard time but I just felt this game could put a smile on people’s faces just for a while.’

Now Lualua finds himself working with another old managerial friend in Ian Holloway at QPR.

The pair know each other from the striker’s time at Blackpool, paving the way for a six-week stay at Loftus Road.

That’s allowed him to pass on advice to the younger Rs men, including brother Kazenga. It’s a scenario he would like to continue at his next club.

Lualua said: ‘When I was here I had the opportunity to be around Andy Cole, Sol Campbell and people like that. They had experience and knew how to lead you.

‘Sol used to be eating fish, salad and things like that. Me? I just loved my KFC!

‘But I realise now why he was doing that and how you have to take care of yourself. Those experiences you share.

‘My little bro is on loan at QPR now from Brighton. He was a baby when I left the country so he just knew I played football. Now it’s a blessing to see him and give him advice.

‘It’s amazing. I feel like a teacher! But Portsmouth has a place in my heart and I feel I can help the younger players there.’