Kanu: I’m happy to bide my time

Pompey striker Kanu
Pompey striker Kanu
Pompey defend before their clash with Wycombe in 2013 is abandoned. Picture: Joe Pepler

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Kanu has told Pompey boss Steve Cotterill: I can still do a job for you.

The Nigerian striker has seen his first-team chances limited in recent times at Fratton Park as Cotterill keeps faith with Dave Kitson as his central striker in a 4-3-3/4-5-1 formation.

Former Ajax, Inter Milan and Arsenal star Kanu has not made a first-team start since the 2-0 win over Scunthorpe on March 1.

And he hasn’t even been required from the bench since the 0-0 draw with Middlesbrough almost a month ago.

But even in his fleeting appearances this season, the 34-year-old has shown his undoubted quality on the ball.

And while Kanu is eager to play his part in Pompey’s run-in, the striker insists he will bide his time for his opportunity.

He said: ‘Of course every player wants to play and when you have got the talent that I’ve got, you want to come out and show it.

‘I’ve still got the talent – there is no way I can lose that.

‘But I will not be forceful about it.

‘It’s the manager’s decision, I respect that and he sees what he sees.

‘We have to play for the good of the team and play for the manager when he needs us.

‘So I will do my best when I play. That’s the attitude we all have to have.

‘With this spirit with all of us, we can achieve great things.’

Kanu was the star attraction at The News Sports Awards earlier this week as he picked up his lifetime achievement award, both for his services to Pompey and his work with the Kanu Heart Foundation in helping under-privileged African children receive life-changing heart surgery.

The highly-decorated striker was touched by his recognition from the people of Portsmouth.

He said: ‘I knew how the people in the city of Portsmouth loved me before the award but I appreciate what they have done for me as well.

‘I thank all of the readers of The News and all the people of Portsmouth.

‘Since I came here, the people have welcomed me with open arms.

‘Portsmouth and Kanu is a good match. It’s impossible to imagine what would have happened when I first joined Pompey – I have seen so much.

‘When Harry Redknapp said to me “you have to come and play for us” I didn’t understand what this club is all about.

‘But I remember when I played my first game here against Blackburn, in front of the supporters and scored those goals, I understood that these fans are the best in the world.

‘From then on, I have been doing what I have to do in trying to help the club and this club has helped me.

‘I have had a lot of offers to leave since I came here but I haven’t felt like leaving this club to go anywhere else.

‘I want to end up here.’