Fulham forward Barry Hayles feels Louis Saha’s departure to Manchester United may well give him a run in the first team.
Saha’s sensational form as Chris Coleman’s lone striker and a succession of injuries have limited the Jamaican international to just two starts this season. Hayles, who scored a brace at Tottenham in an early sign of Fulham’s success this term, has his eye on a starting spot after replacing Saha for Monday’s defeat at Newcastle.
Coleman is not likely to make matters easy for the veteran after admitting he wants to add another striker as well as American international Brian McBride, who joined for Columbus Crew for £600,000 earlier this month. Hayles is unperturbed by the competition for places and hopes to seize on the fact that McBride is still awaiting a work permit by starring against Everton in the FA Cup tomorrow.
“I’ve been at Fulham a while and have seen enough people come and go, but I’m still here. If the manager feels the need to bring in another striker then that is good for competition and I don’t mind that. The kind of form Louis was in there was nothing other than injury or a transfer that would have given me a look in so now I need to take my chance.
“I was here before him so it is not a case of having to step into his shoes. I will do things my way. I probably need a run of games so that I can get used to the team again and they can get used to me because I might make different runs to Louis. This is the start of a new chapter now for Fulham and the Louis situation is behind us. I have got the shirt at the moment and I will do my best not to make it easy for anyone to take it from me.”