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Wilson: I'll make final

IRELAND hopeful Marc Wilson insists he'll shake off his injury worries and prove his fitness in time for Portsmouth's FA Cup final clash with Chelsea on Saturday.

U21 cap Wilson, who hopes to make his senior Ireland debut in friendlies against Paraguay and Algeria later this month, has had an exceptional season for Pompey with 36 appearances for the relegated side.

An FA Cup winner's medal would be a just reward for Wilson's hard work this season but his appearance in the Wembley showdown was in doubt as he was taken off due to injury at half time during Pompey's final league game of the season on Sunday against Everton.

But Wilson, who was born in Co Antrim and represented Northern Ireland at schoolboy level before switching to the Republic, says nothing will keep him away from the Wembley meeting as Pompey try to stop Chelsea from landing the double.

"I will do all I can to make sure I am fit. It's been such a hard season I would be devastated to miss out on the final but I am sure I will be ok to play," defender Wilson told the Evening Herald today.

"I came off at half time on Sunday. I have had a repeating hamstring problem for the last while but it's not too serious, I haven't torn the hamstring which is the main thing.

"I have a good chance of playing on Saturday. The plan for this week is for me to look after myself and make sure I'm right for the final.

"We have a few other injuries as well so the manager needs as many bodies as he can get.


"We'll assess it as the week goes on but I will take it easy today and tomorrow and hopefully I'll be ok to train fully on Thursday, and if I can do that I'll be fine to play against Chelsea."

Wilson is aiming to become only the fourth Irish player in 15 years to win an FA Cup medal, following Steve Finnan, John O'Shea and Roy Keane.

"Playing at Wembley in a Cup final is the stuff you dream about as a kid -- I have a chance of doing that on Saturday so I will do all I can to make sure I am there so I can play a part and win a medal."

It's been a long season for Wilson, but he has no plans to ease off on the hard work as he has another mission to accomplish after the Chelsea game.

"The Ireland squad are due to report for training in Dublin on Sunday and hopefully I'll be there," Wilson said.

"It has been a hard season and it would be nice to get a break, but Ireland have two games in Dublin at the end of May and I'm desperate to play, so once I'm fit I'll be there in Dublin for training next week and fingers crossed I'll get the nod to play against Algeria and Paraguay."

Meanwhile Stephen Hunt has been voted player of the year by Hull City supporters, but he has accpected that he has probably played his last game for the Tigers.

"It's been a great pleasure playing for this club I have enjoyed my time here immensely. I would probably be lying if I said I was going to be here for the next three years," said Hunt, currently recovering from a foot injury which will keep him out of action until August.