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Hart warns Portsmouth squad hit hard by African Nations Cup

Portsmouth boss Paul Hart is facing a massive headache with the African Nations Cup looming in the New Year.

Pompey, who are bottom of the Premier League , will be facing potential drop rivals Birmingham and West Ham early in the New Year, along with Fulham and Manchester City.

And Hart could be without Nigerian pair Kanu and John Utaka, Algerian duo Hassan Yebda and Nadir Belhadj, Ivory Coast striker Aruna Dindane and midfielder Kevin-Prince Boateng. Although Boateng is German, he has dual citizenship which makes him eligible to play for Ghana in the African tournament, to be staged in Angola.

Hart said: "I brought it to people's notice a month ago, because it will take the spine out of the team and could be a difficult situation. I think Boateng wants to play for Ghana, so I couldn't stand in his way.

"We have priorities for January if we do anything in the transfer market. But who is to say that January is a good time to buy players anyway? Historically it's not.

"I'm not so sure it is the best time, so it is not as simple as just getting a load of money and splashing it. Who is going to let their best players go in January, so what do you actually end up getting?"

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Tribal Football Staff

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