Fredi's Frustration

Fredi Kanoute admits he is paying for one moment of madness against Leeds as he still has to wait another fortnight for first team action.

Retaliation against Seth Johnson last month at Elland Road, just after making his long awaited comeback, led to a red card and a three match ban which has stretched, because of the football calendar, longer than he could otherwise have expected.

If Dion Dublin's moment of madness against Birmingham City recently was as out of character as everyone says, then the laid back Fredi's red mist was more of an out of body experience.

"I wish it hadn't happened but everyone regrets what he has done afterwards - it easy to look back and say 'I regret it'.

"At the time yes, it was stupid, but we were a bit nervous and it happens sometimes, so now I am just looking forward to playing again."

He is not bitter that Johnson was not punished himself, and he adds:

"It changes nothing; if I am punished, I am punished, if he isn't, good for him - it doesn't change anything for me."

It is no exaggeration to say Fredi could have had a hat trick in the behind closed doors game against Fulham at Upton Park on Friday, with two one on ones and a free header failing to add to his one goal tally - a sublime goal on the run ending with an exquisite volley.

Nonetheless, he says:

"It was a game that was good for me, because I want my fitness back and I can't play in the next game, either; it was just what I needed with all the running.

"I am determined to play and be fit, and I am working for that now."

Now Fredi, who will play in another friendly if one can be arranged, just can't wait to get back into action 'proper', with the friendly game only serving as a reminder that, after a long injury struggle, he just wants to be playing games again.

He says:

"It is frustrating, especially when we are in a bad situation like this; the only thing I want now is to play but I have to be patient and try to train hard as well as get involved in a game such as the Fulham one."

He certainly has an able deputy, though, in Les Ferdinand, who opened his account against his old club Spurs and hopes to make it two in two at Goodison Park next weekend.

"I like him as a person and as a player as well - there is no problem between us and to have that competition is good," says Fredi.