Tottenham defender Ledley King still believes he has a vital part to play this season, having just recovered from early season injuries.
The stalwart centre-back has suffered from chronic knee problems throughout his career and, as such, is unable to partake in full training leaving other parts of his body susceptible to injury.
A groin problem curtailed much of his season last year but the 30-year-old made his long awaited return to the starting XI in the 2-0 win over Wolves and looks set to keep his place for the weekend encounter against Liverpool.
King’s contract expires at the end of the season and manager Harry Redknapp has already stated that he needs to play at least 20 games to earn a new deal, something the England defender is confident he can achieve.
“It was a total nightmare last season trying to get the groin right, so I worked hard over the summer and coming into this season, it feels a lot better than it did,” King told The Evening Standard.
“I hope I’m just back to concentrating on looking after the knee now and hopefully nothing else will crop up.
“If I can just manage the knee, there is no reason I can’t play quite regularly. I’ve played one game, so I don’t want to talk too much about what might happen but at the moment, I feel fine.
“Anyone who’s had injury problems would tell you that it’s really difficult to get out of your head what might be around the corner. I don’t want to jinx myself but I should be fine for the next game and hopefully for the remainder of the season.
“I don’t feel the need to speak to anyone at the club at the moment. I’ll try to let my football do the talking.
“If I can stay fit and play the games this season, the [contract] situation will take care of itself.”
King has also praised the summer signings of Emmanuel Adebayor, Brad Friedel and Scott Parker while pointing out their importance to the team.
“Emmanuel will bring something different to the team,” he added
“You can see in training that he has a bounce in his step, which will rub off on other players and make the mood better. Scotty was brilliant at Wolves as well.
“They have different qualities to the players we’ve let go, so it’s something fresh. We needed to freshen up a little bit. We’d played with the same group of players for a while and it was important to bring some new faces in to give us something different.”
The North London outfit are again targeting a top four finish this season, something King believes is pivotal to the success of the club this term.
“Does the club need Champions League football? Of course it does and there is no reason why we can’t finish in the top four this season,” he said.
“Having had the taste of it and done well in the tournament last year, the players felt like we belonged there so there is no reason why we shouldn’t be striving for that again.
“Most of the teams have spent good money improving their squads so it’s going to be tough and there are probably five or six teams who all aim to finish in the top four.
“We’re confident in the squad we’ve got, though. It’s one of the best in the Premier League and it’s up to us to try to get there now.”