Steve's Change Of Luck?

Steve Lomas hopes, finally, to have an injury free run for the rest of the season.

Two lay-offs with a knee injury have sandwiched a broken toe which means that Steve has barely seen any action in the year since his problems started, and he says of his latest return: "The knee is still a little bit painful but I have been training regularly and I'm quite thankful the last injury has only been a two week affair, really - it could have been a lot worse, but fortunately that is not the case.

"Hopefully now I can play to the end of the season relatively injury free. It will be great of I can get through it unscathed, have a bit of a break holiday-wise and come back fit and raring to go to have a good pre-season under my belt.

"Then I want to have a good season next year and get back to playing 35 or 40 games a season, which is basically what I have been doing for seven or eight years.

"I have been training for the last week so hopefully that will hold me in good stead for a game, but we will have to wait and see.

"I'm just glad to be training again after a bit of an enforced break which means I have missed a couple of games.

"I'm sure the gaffer is pleased to have a few more players back now and hopefully that will help the team."

He is understandably coy about saying whether he will start the game, but says: "If called upon, I am fit, eager, and looking forward to it. It is Manchester United and if you don't look forward to games like this you deserve to play in the first division.

"I saw them play Bayern Munich midweek, they are a good team and you have got to be a team to get a result against them, and it is going to be difficult."

It could hardly be a tougher return to action, facing up to Roy Keane, and Steve adds: "There are a lot of good players but he is probably right up there as one of the top ones in the country. It will be a tough game, but I am looking forward to it if I do get the nod."

Steve says the win at Old Trafford earlier in the season will have no bearing on this match, and adds: "The home form has been very good but it will be severely tested tomorrow. I think it will be totally different from the game at Old Trafford, and that is not to take anything away from the lads.

"To win at Manchester United at any time is a fantastic result, and it pretty much kick-started our season.

"It was a fantastic performance but at the time Manchester United weren't at their strongest and were going through a little confidence spell and people were even querying whether Alex Ferguson should go early, which is ridiculous really.

"But their confidence is sky high, they haven't been beaten in a long time, they will have their full quota of players and, with it being so tight up at the top, they are going to be playing to the maximum.

"They were going through a little bad spell conceding goals but they have had over four months where they haven't conceded too many goals, and haven't given away too many points, that's for certain."

Steve predicts a more open game than the narrow wins over Everton and Middlesbrough recently, and says: "One thing about Manchester United is that, though they play good football, they definitely let you play as well, and probably feel that they are more than capable of being the better team - more often that not they are.

"As regards to the other games, bottom of the league matches are always very difficult and tight, and there isn't much football.

"You could possibly say the last two home games were very poor in terms of entertainment given, but at this stage of the season we are not really bothered, winning is all that matters."