By CHRIS WRIGHT
Olhanense’s under-21 international Ukra, who has been linked with Newcastle United and Spanish club Huelva Recreativo, was watched by Fulham and Blackburn Rovers last weekend.
Ukra is on loan from FC Porto and under contract until 2011. The player was in fine form for Portugal when they played England at Wembley recently.
On this occasion, the Premier League scouts will not have been impressed by poor performances from Ukra and his colleagues, with the exception of keeper Ventura.
A goal in each half from Nuno Assis and Targino ensured V.Guimarães returned north with all three points and left Olhanense wallowing in the relegation zone.
Ventura excelled as he saved a penalty shortly before half-time and made two superb second-half saves to deny the visitors a bigger winning margin.
The home side has now gone eleven and a half hours without scoring a league goal. The influential Miguel Garcia was missing, having been diagnosed with swine flu, and is the third Olhanense player to have caught the infection this season.
The team is basically the same that played so positively against Sporting and Braga earlier in the season but is now so lacking in confidence that coach Jorge Costa must be a worried man.
On a positive note, Djalmir, out through injury for the past seven months, entered the fray for the last 20 minutes. Last season’s top goalscorer, with 20 goals, desperately needs to quickly find his feet as the team face two difficult games – away to Maritimo on Sunday and at home to Benfica the following Saturday – before the Christmas break.
MADEIRA HERE WE COME
Forty-four Portuguese and British fans left Olhão late last night (Thursday) by coach for Lisbon before catching a flight to Funchal, Madeira.
The highlight of the five-day trip will be Olhanense’s game against Maritimo on Sunday. The group, affectionately known as Os gorillas, will be decked out in red and black as they prepare their flags, banners and drums ready to give their team a warm welcome when they arrive on the island tomorrow (Saturday).