'pompey need new players'

PORTSMOUTH'S new signing Aaron "Mbazo" Mokoena fears the club face a fight to avoid the drop this season following a crushing pre-season defeat by Benfica.

PORTSMOUTH'S new signing Aaron "Mbazo" Mokoena fears the club face a fight to avoid the drop this season following a crushing pre-season defeat by Benfica.

Pompey have sold Peter Crouch and they could yet lose David James and Sylvain Distin. Now Mokoena, one of only two players signed under the new reign of Sulaiman Al Fahim, admits reinforcements are urgently needed.

After their 4-0 hammering in Lisbon, the midfielder told The Mirror: "We need more players and we need to get our act together. Benfica was not a good result. That was very disappointing for us. It is going to be challenging but I am sure we can do it."

Manager Sam Allardyce wants two new strikers on board at Blackburn before the start of the new season, with Benjani Mwaruwari and Nikola Kalinic his top targets.

Blackburn have money to spend, having sold Roque Santa Cruz to moneybags Manchester City for R236million and have reportedly agreed on a R80million deal for Croatian hitman Kalinic. Allardyce wants more competition in his forward line, though, and will ask City about the possibility of taking Mwaruwari off their hands.

The Zimbabwean powerhouse has fallen way down the striker pecking order at Eastlands after the summer arrivals of Santa Cruz, Emmanuel Adebayor and Carlos Tevez, who must all fight for a starting place with the likes of Robinho and Craig Bellamy.

Rovers have Jason Roberts, Benni McCarthy and Paul Gallagher vying for the forward spots, so Allardyce wants to bolster his options. - Thapelo Moloantoa

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