Pompey seal Baros loan deal

HARRY REDKNAPP celebrated the luck all teams need to win the FA Cup by signing Czech Republic striker Milan Baros on loan from Lyon last night to bolster his crumbling Premier League strike-force.

Former Liverpool and Aston Villa star Baros, 26, will take the place of injured David Nugent against champions Manchester United at Old Trafford on Wednesday after passing a medical at the club’s training ground yesterday morning.

With €9million buy Nugent possibly facing a hernia operation after being substituted at half-time in Saturday’s lucky fourth round cup win over battling Plymouth, Baros has a great chance to turn his temporary move - which lasts until the end of the season - into a permanent signing.

“It’s a terrific opportunity to have a look at him,” Redknapp said. “He’s a good player who has played at Liverpool and Aston Villa – and he’s been the golden boot winner at a European Championships.”

Pompey struggled past their Championship opponents thanks to the marvellous goalkeeping of David James, referee Andre Marriner’s generosity in ruling that handball by Sylvain Distin was a penalty-box accident and some major slices of good fortune.

They were outplayed by Plymouth, who led after just four minutes through debut-making Chris Clark, but at least had the desire to fight back and snatch victory before half-time through scrappy goals by impressive €7.5million new boy Lassana Diarra and Croatian midfielder Niko Kranjcar.

“I’ve never got anywhere near in the FA Cup,” said Redknapp. “We’re happy to still be in it, sure. We must have a chance, but the big four are still there, that’s the problem. You wouldn’t bet against them.” Paul Sturrock heaped praise on his Plymouth players for their gallant effort and says it will sustain him through the last week of the transfer window. He said: “The zaniest week in football is just upon us, and in some ways I’d like to sleep through it but we want to build on our squad rather than seeing it depleted.

“I’ve been pleased to hear that David James says he wants to play in Plymouth one day. He already lives in Devon — one day, maybe.”

PORTSMOUTH (4-4-2): James 8, Johnson 6, Pamarot 6, Distin 7, Hreidarsson 5, Lauren 5 (Davis 67, 5), Pedro Mendes 7 (Hughes 90, 5), Diarra 8, Kranjcar 7, Nugent 4 (Mvuemba 46, 6), Benjani 6.

Subs Not Used: Begovic, Aubey.

PLYMOUTH (4-4-2): McCormick 6, Connolly 6, Timar 7, Doumbe 8, Sawyer 7, Clark 7 (Folly 82, 6), Nalis 7, Norris 7, Halmosi 8, Fallon 6, Easter 6 (Jutkiewicz 75, 5).

Subs Not Used: Larrieu, Hodges, Summerfield.

REFEREE: Andre Marriner (West Midlands) 6: A quiet performance in a cup tie played in the right spirit.

MATCH RATING: **** Plymouth gave it a go and were unfortunate not to take Pompey back to Home Park.

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