Out of Africa again

WEST HAM striker Ahmed Mido believes he is back where he belongs – in the Premier League, writes DAVE EVANS. The Egyptian hitman has featured in the Hammers last two games and he is confident that when he reaches full fitness, he will be a valuable membe

WEST HAM striker Ahmed Mido believes he is back where he belongs - in the Premier League, writes DAVE EVANS.

The Egyptian hitman has featured in the Hammers' last two games and he is confident that when he reaches full fitness, he will be a valuable member of Gianfranco Zola's squad.

"It will take a little while to reach top form, but that is what happens when you haven't played for a while," said Mido, who arrived on loan from Middlesbrough after spending the first half of the season back in Egypt.

"The first game I came on for 45 minutes, and against Birmingham I started so hopefully now we have a good chance to train well and get some good fitness back.


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"We have 10 days until our next game and hopefully I will use it."

Mido had something of a bad reputation during his previous spell in London - with Spurs - but he feels that he has been unjustly criticised.

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"I've never had a problem with attitude," he insisted. "I think because I've moved from a lot of clubs, that's why this reputation came to me, but I think there are players, like Robbie Keane, who have had a lot of clubs."

Mido is now at his 10th club since leaving El Zamalek for Belgian club Gent back in 2000, but the striker, who is not 27 until next week, has a reason for that.

"Sometimes players accept not being played and getting paid and staying in a place for four or five years, but thank God I'm not one of them," said Mido, who took a huge pay-cut to return to the Premier League with West Ham.

He feels it is well worth it: "I'm happy." he confirmed. "Happy to be back in the best league in the world again and now I've got 13 games to go, to work hard for every minute until the end of the season.

"I'm still 26. I've been playing in the Premier League for four or five years and I've shown in the past I can play in this league."

He continued: "I've been really unlucky the past couple of years, I've had a couple of injuries.

"Now I've been injury-free for four or five months and I'm sure if I get the work right, as I've been doing, I can get the best out of myself."

If Mido starts on Saturday against Hull City, he may come up against fellow Egyptian Amr Zaki, and he knows how effective he can be.

"Zaki is a very good player, very strong," said Mido. "He's been doing well since he came back, but hopefully he won't score against us."

Hopefully, the only Egyptian on the scoresheet this Saturday, will be in claret and blue.

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