Fredi Ready

Fredi Kanoute says he is feeling positive about returning to the starting line up - and dismisses claims that he has been unnecessarily apprehensive about his comeback.

After an aborted return to action against Fulham in December, he then went to America for further rehab, and now, having played from the bench twice, he is likely to be restored to the starting line up at Elland Road.

"I am positive about it but I still have to work at it - but the main thing is I feel better, so I am happy about that.

"When I play I don't think about my groin and I feel easier in my movement."

As for those rumours, he says:

"They write what they want to write and it is their problem - I don't care; I have my problems and I try to resolve them.

"I don't read the papers anyway and I don't think the fans doubt me - I hope they are going to be happy seeing me return.

"It was a great relief to win against Blackburn, but it was not good to lose the game after; we have to do our best to come back but we didn't play our best against Liverpool.

"Maybe the team was a bit apprehensive - perhaps about the team we were playing against - I don't know, because we didn't start very well.

"I think we really lost the game; they didn't really deserve to score two goals in the first 10 minutes so it was about us and it is too late when you concede two goals in 10 minutes."

He admits confidence has been dented but adds:

"At the moment the players are certainly a bit affected, but a game of football is a game of football, and we still have to enjoy it and look for the win in any situation even though it is hard not to think about it - we have to play and that is it.

"I think I am ready and I have been preparing for it; it is a big game on Saturday but all the games are big - and I am motivated to play."

Various options are open to Glenn Roeder but the tried and tested partnership with Paolo Di Canio is, of course, favourite.

"We hope it is going to work - it is a long time since we played together," says Fredi of a front pairing that has started only two games together this season."

As for Les Ferdinand, who he has replaced on both occasions he has come on as sub, he adds:

"Les is a very nice man but I knew he wasn't that tall.

"But he is so good in the air with his timing - and whatever the boss chooses I will accept.

"Every player is willing to play his best."