Striker pledges Pompey future

Marko Futacs has made a big impact
Marko Futacs has made a big impact
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On this day: Diarra signs for Pompey

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Marko Futacs pledged his future to Pompey and insisted: I love it here.

The towering striker has been a revelation after being handed a regular spot in Michael Appleton’s starting XI.

With two goals in three matches, it has been a welcome impact for a side consistently struggling to hit the back of the net.

Futacs’ short-term deal is up at the end of the season.

But there remains an option for the club to take up an additional 12 months on the former triallist.

Michael Appleton has already indicated he will be activating the clause to keep the Hungarian under-21 international at Fratton Park.

Futacs is also eager to remain longer on the south coast.

He said: ‘Some coaches in Hungary and friends told me it would be a good decision to come to England. They were right and I am very happy I did it.

‘I really, really enjoy the life here and the training, everything about this football club.

‘I think now I am very, very happy because football is going well. I have everything I need.

‘There is an option for another 12 months and I would like to stay.

‘I will get better and better as a player.

‘I work so much on practice before training and after training. I head balls, keep balls – I have been working on my game all the time.

‘For me, working hard is the best thing I can do to be better and I will do that. I am still young so I have to learn.

‘This club has amazing fans. Always when I play I hear the Pompey fans, especially at Chelsea.

‘I am very happy here.’

Steve Cotterill brought Futacs over for a week’s trial back in August.

The former Werder Bremen striker played in a behind-closed-doors friendly against Swindon during that time, netting in a 4-0 victory.

That was enough for Pompey to offer a deal until the season’s end.

Cotterill publicly described the move as a ‘gamble’, yet had the cushion of an extra 12-month option should Futacs impress.

After seven substitute appearances, the Hungarian was given his full debut by Appleton against Leicester on New Year’s Eve.

He responded with a goal – followed by another strike the following match against Watford.

After also impressing at Chelsea, Futacs will keep his place for Saturday’s visit of West Ham.

And he believes the Blues can build on Sunday’s FA Cup showing.

He added: ‘The gaffer said if we play the same way we did against Chelsea, we can beat West Ham – and I think he is right.

‘They played their first team and wanted to win, too, but for 85 minutes we were there with them.

‘We created chances – and against a team like that.

‘We can take confidence into West Ham.’