Viking still wants to save Pompey despite exit

120536-267_POMPEY_IPSWICH_SR_14/2/12'Pompey vs Ipswich at Fratton Park.'Erik Huseklepp is flagged offside.''Picture:Steve Reid (120536-267)
120536-267_POMPEY_IPSWICH_SR_14/2/12'Pompey vs Ipswich at Fratton Park.'Erik Huseklepp is flagged offside.''Picture:Steve Reid (120536-267)
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Erik Huseklepp still wants to fire Pompey to Championship survival – even though he’s playing for Birmingham.

The Viking believes he can sink the sides vying to stay in the division with Michael Appleton’s men, following his move to St Andrew’s.

And Huseklepp admits he still hasn’t given up hope of returning to the club, after agreeing a loan move to the midlands until the end of the season.

The big fans’ favourite also promised the Fratton faithful he is aiming to halt local rivals Southampton’s bid to make the Premier League, having swapped a relegation dogfight for a promotion chase.

Pompey’s top goalscorer was last week sacrificed in the wake of his team once again descending into administration.

Huseklepp has made it clear the move came as a shock to him and that he had no desire to leave the club he joined for £1.5m last August.

He was given a cameo appearance from the bench against Nottingham Forest on Saturday.

The Norwegian international failed to score on his debut.

But he is hoping he can still put a smile on the faces of Pompey fans over the rest of the season.

Huseklepp said: ‘The move was a big surprise for me.

‘It’s done now, though. I have a new challenge and I have to focus on that but I can still help Portsmouth against teams at the bottom.

‘And I really hope to push Southampton out of second place.

‘I hope and think the club are good enough to survive.

‘The team just need to get the players back from injury. I hope so much we stay up.

‘And stopping Southampton would be the best thing possible as a Portsmouth man.

‘There’s a gap but we have a game in hand.

‘I’m focused on doing as well as I can and achieving that.’

Huseklepp has made it clear he still believes he could wear a Pompey shirt again, despite his February exit.

Michael Appleton admitted the door may still be open for him to return and Huseklepp underlined the fact the deal with Birmingham is temporary.

The two sides meet at Fratton Park next month but the forward will miss the game as part of the terms of his loan move.

Huseklepp insists he was relieved at that fact, as he could not bear the thought of heaping more misery on the side he quickly built a close affinity with after joining from Italian club Bari.

He said: ‘It’s only a loan – I’ve not left Portsmouth yet.

‘Who knows what is going to happen?

‘I’ll take these three months and see what happens.

‘I’m still a Portsmouth player, it’s just a loan so I think it would have been wrong for me to play in the game between the teams.

‘I’m not playing, it’s in the contract and I’m glad for it.

‘It’s a big relief. I didn’t want to play in a game against Portsmouth.’