Kranjcar: I'm gutted by fall of Pompey

NIKO Kranjcar admits he has been stunned by Portsmouth s demise since he lifted the FA Cup with the Fratton Park side less than two years ago. The Croatian international declined to celebrate when he scored against his former club...

By Ben Pearce

NIKO Kranjcar admits he has been stunned by Portsmouth's demise since he lifted the FA Cup with the Fratton Park side less than two years ago.

The Croatian international declined to celebrate when he scored against his former club two weeks ago in the league meeting at White Hart Lane.

And, while Peter Crouch insists there will be "no sentiment" from Spurs' ex-Pompey contingent this weekend, Kranjcar concedes that facing his former club at Wembley will be another emotional experience.


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"It was out of respect to the football club and the fans that I didn't celebrate," he said. None of us who played there are happy with the situation at Portsmouth Football Club. It is sad to see what's happened and I wish them well.

"We were in the top half of the Premier League, we won the FA Cup, we were playing European football. We never knew that the owners or whoever spent more than they were able to. We were having a good time for two or three seasons down there.

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"The signs were there in the summer with the new owner having due diligence and not investing money in it. And, with the change of owners during the season, everybody saw it coming unfortunately.

"I think they were looking to establish themselves as a top-half team. We had obviously a good fan base down south and had a really good footballing team. When you look at the players who played in that Cup-winning side, most of us are playing for the likes of Spurs, Liverpool , Inter Milan and big teams like that. That team could have been playing regularly in Europe.

"It doesn't make you mad that the team was broken up. But you wish that you could have pushed on from those results. It's hard to build something big but it seems to be even harder to stay at that level. Unfortunately, they didn't have the resources to fulfil that today. Unfortunately today in football, without money, you can't achieve those high goals. You need money to persuade players.

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