Nugent can lift Town to Premier League

PORTSMOUTH manager Harry Redknapp says that striker David Nugent is capable of lifting Ipswich Town into the Premier League.“If David can help Ipswich get in the Premier League it would be good for him, good for everybody,” said Redknapp, who has completed a U-turn and is now happy for the 22-year-old to go out on loan.

Elvin King

PORTSMOUTH manager Harry Redknapp says that striker David Nugent is capable of lifting Ipswich Town into the Premier League.

“If David can help Ipswich get in the Premier League it would be good for him, good for everybody,” said Redknapp, who has completed a U-turn and is now happy for the 22-year-old to go out on loan.

Nugent, the striker who can't stop scoring goals at Portman Road, is today deciding whether to give Town's promotion push a big boost.

Town boss Jim Magilton confirmed his interest in the one-cap, one-goal England international earlier this week, and Redknapp said today: “It is up to David whether he fancies a move to Ipswich or not. It's his decision, it's up to him.

“Ipswich chairman David Sheepshanks has approached our director and chief executive officer Peter Storrie and we felt David (Nugent) needs to play.

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“He's a couple of days away from fitness because of a groin strain and when he's fit I'll have a chat with him again.

“I spoke to him a few days ago, but he's got an injury and just wants to see when he's fit and spoken to his agent.

“We signed him last summer and it's been a tough season for him. It's a big step up, sometimes it takes players time to adjust.”

Redknapp is happy with a season-long loan that would see Nugent available for the Championship play-off final on May 24 if necessary.

And the Pompey boss does not intend imposing a recall clause.

“I think Ipswich want to loan David until the end of the season,” added Redknapp.

“It would be to pay money to loan him; it's not a free loan.

“Peter Storrie feels it's a decent deal, and will do the boy good because he needs to go and play.

“I've got Jermain Defoe, Nwanko Kanu and Milan Baros. John Utaka can play through the middle, he's not really played there for me but he can. We've got options.

“David needs to get back and play some games and score some goals, I'm sure he can do that at Ipswich.

Bought by Portsmouth for £6million from Preston, but only an infrequent member of the Pompey first team, Nugent could become a permanent member of the Portman Road playing staff in the summer.

Discussing a permanent deal, Redknapp said: “It depends really, it just depends what happens with Ipswich. It depends how they go.

“If they do well and go up and he scores goals for them. If they don't go up it would be different.

“When the summer comes there are always players available, you have look around and see what comes up.”

Nugent, who scored when Pompey beat Ipswich in the FA Cup at Portman Road last month, regularly found the net for Preston on their trips to Suffolk and also netted for England Under-21's on Suffolk soil.

Roundly jeered by Town fans in recent seasons, Nugent could turn from villain to hero - especially if he shoots the Blues into the Premier League.

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