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Defoe faces final heartbreak as he is forced to sit on the Wembley sidelines.

STAR striker Jermain Defoe has admitted hiding his frustration will be impossible when his Portsmouth team-mates run out for the FA Cup final against Cardiff.

The England international is cup-tied for the game because he played in the cup twice for Tottenham before his January transfer to Fratton Park.

And, having been forced to watch Pompey's semi-final from the stands, he knows being a spectator for the club's second trip to Wembley will be an even more painful experience.

"Missing the semi-final was frustrating. But the final will be 10 times worse.

"At the game with West Brom I was smashing balls against a wall and the lads were all telling me to chill. But it's so hard to take when you're cup-tied.

"The final is going to be an amazing occasion, and I'd love to be part of it. But you just have to take it on the chin and accept you're not meant to play in it, not this year anyway.

"I'm only 25 and I'm sure my chance will come again."

He continued: "After all the time I've spent watching playing in them, I'm the world's worst spectator.

But I'll bite the bullet and cheer the lads on, hoping they can win and get us into Europe next season."

A spot in the Uefa Cup, the prize that awaits whoever wins on Saturday, is certainly a mouthwatering prospect for Defoe.

Having spent much of his last two years with Tottenham on the bench, he is keen to get as many games as possible under his belt. After a stunning start to his Portsmouth career, the striker has already set his sights on European glory next season.

"Playing in Europe would be massive for the club and good for my career," he said. "And I definitely wouldn't worry about the prospect of playing a lot more games.

"That's exactly what I want, to make up for lost time. If we had to play in 60 matches next season, I'd want to play in all of them."

Defoe will at least play some part in Portsmouth's bid to win the cup. The club have made sure he is fully involved in preparations for the big day and he will even get his own special memento from the occasion.

Defoe explained: "The club will give me a match-day shirt, which I'll have framed and put on the wall. All I'll be lacking is a winner's medal that the other lads who play will be getting."

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CUPTIED: Portsmouth star striker Jermain Defoe
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:May 12, 2008
Words:423
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