West Ham’s Piquionne battles to be fit for Manchester United clash

Hammers French striker is back in training and looking to take his place against the league leaders on Saturday.

West Ham striker Freddie Piquionne is battling to be fit for Saturday’s showdown with Premier League leaders Manchester United at Upton Park.

The Frenchman was forced to limp off after scoring West Ham’s goal in the FA Cup quarter-final defeat at Stoke City, but he feels he is well on the way to a return.

“I am recovering well,” insisted the 32-year-old this week. “The physio and I are hoping that this week I can train with the first team.

“My right toes were injured and it was really painful. It was a shame because I started the Stoke game slowly, but I was able to score. I needed to come off and it was a shame as I think I could have scored again and we might have won the game.”

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Of course, that is mere conjecture, but Piquionne has certainly proved himself a useful player this season, grabbing nine goals to put him behind only Carlton Cole in the West Ham goalscoring charts.

And he feels that West Ham will certainly have a chance against the Red Devils come Saturday lunchtime.

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“Confidence is high,” he said. “In the League we have had some good results against Stoke and Liverpool and we need to keep this confidence going against United – maybe we can win this game.

“Home matches are very important. We also have Aston Villa, Blackburn and Sunderland at Upton Park and we need to take nine points from these matches.”

Some have questioned the attitude of the Frenchman this season, but he is determined to give his all.

“I hope we stay in the Premier League and the team will do the maximum for that,” he said. “For that, I need to stay cool and to help my team, to train hard and to get back into the team.”

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