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Next
 Posted by ESPN Staff
Dec 3, 2007

I'm injury free, declares troubled striker Saha

Louis Saha has declared himself injury free and hungry for goals.

The Manchester United forward has been plagued by fitness problems almost since the day he moved to Old Trafford three years ago.

Although Saha has suffered muscular injuries, the main worry has been his dodgy knees, which have let him down so frequently, one leading Red Devils fanzine has unkindly dubbed the Frenchman 'Balsa Man'.

However, while Sir Alex Ferguson has declared his preference to take a softly-softly attitude with the former Fulham man, who is set to be part of the United squad that faces his old club at Old Trafford tonight, Saha is confident his past problems are behind him.

'It has been difficult but I am injury-free now,' he said.

'A cartilage problem is always difficult. It seemed a bit dangerous and I was a bit worried at one point because it is never good to play with a swollen knee.

'But I am clear of it now. The manager is doing the right thing and I am trying to forget about it.'

At least Saha has been able to step into the breach during Wayne Rooney's recent absence, although now the youngster has recovered from his own ankle injury, the 28-year-old might find himself on the bench, with Ferguson using his pace and power for added impact late in the contest if things are not going well for his team.

Saha is cautious about placing too much expectation on himself so early into his comeback.

Yet he knows a goal - he has not scored since netting the winner against Sunderland in September - would work wonders for his confidence.

'Goals are the main part of the game for any striker and it would really help me if I could get one,' he said.

'I am hungry for goals and the good thing about being in this team is that you know we will always create chances.'

Having dropped to fourth - behind Chelsea and Liverpool and six points adrift of leaders Arsenal - over the weekend, United cannot afford to slip up against the Cottagers.

Last weekend's surprise loss at Bolton has given Ferguson's side little leeway leading up to the Festive period.

'It is imperative to get a result,' said Saha.

'We know it will be hard against them, it always is. But after what happened against Bolton, we are in a bad position and we have to react.'