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RETURN OF THE KING

Posted on 15 July 2006  - 12:00

Martin Jol was delighted to see Ledley King complete 70 minutes on his return in the 1-0 win against Nice on Friday night.

Martin Jol was delighted to see Ledley King complete 70 minutes on his return in the 1-0 win against Nice on Friday night.

It was the skipper’s first match action since fracturing a metatarsal in his foot against Everton in the Premiership on April 15.

Lee Barnard struck the winning goal just before half-time at Evian as we made it back-to-back victories against Bordeaux and Nice, the first two of three friendly matches as part of our training camp in France. The third is against Spanish side Celta Vigo in Annecy on Tuesday, kick-off 7pm local time (6pm UK).

“I was very pleased with Ledley,†reflected Martin. “He’s so quick and you could see that in a couple of situations.

“I didn’t want to take a risk with 90 minutes even though we always play for a result - we wanted to win and that competitiveness is important. He always says he’s fine but it was his first game back and 70 minutes was enough.

“Every time Ledley’s not there, we miss him. He made a good partnership with Calum Davenport and came through fine.â€Â

As promised, Martin fielded just about a completely new team with only Wayne Routledge having started against Bordeaux. He played the first half before being replaced by Jermain Defoe for the second half.

Martin added: “The result is not the most important thing but it was nice to win and to keep a clean sheet and Marton Fulop was second to none.

“Nice played with two very quick strikers and we were one against one in the centre, I told Reto Ziegler at left-back to play an attacking role so he left space in behind and they took advantage and had two or three chances, but Marton did very well. We did better in the second half.â€Â