Clark's Cup date

Monday 18 February 2002

Fulham's Lee Clark believes he is finally overcoming an Achilles injury which has sidelined him for the last eight weeks and will be fit in time for his team's FA Cup quarter-final away tie against West Brom next month.

The 29-year-old midfielder has had one failed comeback attempt since picking up the problem in the goal-less draw with Charlton on Boxing Day but is confident that a period of complete rest has ensured he will now make a full recovery.

Clark said: "I am not saying it will take me three weeks to get back, I will be disappointed if it is not sooner than that.

"I have not joined in training with the rest of the team yet but I have started running again and there has been no reaction.

"I am taking it easy because the injury kept me out for three weeks earlier in the season and it has plagued me a bit.

"It has been really frustrating and I was on a bit of a downer but I was told to have complete rest and the last few days have been more positive.

"I cannot wait to get back and it would be nice to be involved in the FA Cup because I have not played in it this season and the team are doing really well."

Fulham earned a quarterfinal place on Saturday with a 2-1 win at Walsall when a spectacular second-half strike from Barry Hayles secured victory. Fulham took the lead before the break through a Tom Bennett own goal and Darren Byfield scored the First Division side's equaliser.

It is the first time the Craven Cottage club have reached this stage of the competition since 1975 when they were beaten by West Ham in the final.

Manager Jean Tigana said the Premiership is still his priority but assistant Christian Damianos believes Fulham have a good chance of winning the cup.

He said: "Any team can beat another. That's the beauty of the competition."

Source: This is London