Niko’s happy to adapt to the English way
Posted April 5, 2007on:
He’s undergone an English football makeover.
Now Niko Kranjcar is convinced he’s better equipped than ever to cope with the Premiership.
The cultured midfielder marked his 21st Pompey appearance with a Craven Cottage cracker.
Just as momentous was the fact it was the first time the Croat has started successive games for Harry Redknapp’s side.
After spending the season struggling to break into the team on a regular basis, Kranjcar is finally sensing change.
He said: ‘The most important thing I have had to adapt to since arriving in England is the running and the workrate.
‘I was pretty good anyway with my technique when I came here, but obviously with the physical side of it I’ve had to improve.
‘You’ve got to be harder, tougher and stronger to cope in the Premiership. It’s something I’ve had to learn and something I’ve been working a lot on.
‘I think I’ve done that now. I feel that’s also helped me play better for the national team and I’m making progress.
‘You come back from international football really wanting to perform in the Premiership and that’s what I’m desperate to do for this football club.
‘I’m settled, it feels much more comfortable and easier to play football here now. Hopefully that can continue.’
Quite where Kranjcar’s most effective position is remains up in the air.
Having been employed behind the front two with
great success at Hadjuk Split, he now finds himself operating as a left-sided midfielder for both Pompey and Croatia.
The 22-year-old remains unconcerned which role he is asked to fill – just as long as he remains in the first team.
He added: ‘I prefer to play – it’s up to the manager to decide in which position he uses me.
‘Growing up, I’ve played behind the strikers – obviously you don’t play the system like that, though, over here.
‘At the same time, though, in my national team I play on the left, just like I do at Portsmouth.
‘Obviously it’s a different type of game you play for the national team than Portsmouth, but the most important thing is to start playing regularly.
‘Once you are playing more and more games you gain confidence and you can benefit whatever position.
‘Each position has its good and bad points, it’s just up to me to try to get the best out of it.’
Posted by Denis S – Pointed Out By Jero – Written By www.portsmouthtoday.com