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TIMELY BOOST FOR TEEMU

Posted on 10 March 2006  - 12:00

Teemu Tainio was relieved to ease the frustration of his absence from duty against Blackburn last weekend.

Teemu Tainio was relieved to ease the frustration of his absence from duty against Blackburn last weekend.

The all-action midfielder missed two games with ankle and knee problems that forced his off early in the win over Charlton at the Lane on February 5, although the initial injuries were sustained against Aston Villa in the home game before.

Such must have been his frustration over his inactivity, from talking to the midfielder you would imagine he had been out a matter of months...

"It really is pleasing to be fit now, I can hardly remember when my last game was, so it was really pleasing to come back," said the Finn looking back on the 3-2 win. "To come back with a victory made it all the better."

Teemu was flagging somewhat near the conclusion and was replaced on 76 minutes by Danny Murphy - leaving the pitch a little tired.

"Not even a little bit - I was very tired towards the end!" he recalled on his comeback stint. "It is never easy to return from injury, but with my playing style I think it is even more difficult. Like I said, we won the game, so I can be satisfied.

"I think you saw in the game how important getting the victory was to us.

"I felt really good for the first time in a while and that gave me a lot of confidence. I am looking forward to the next game."

The next game is, of course, the visit to Stamford Bridge to take on Chelsea - a task Teemu believes is better faced on the back of a win.

"We can go there without too much pressure on us now, but we are going there to try and get something. Chelsea will be favourites, but we are confident over what we can do.

"I have seen them play a few times and they are a great team, that is for sure. In games I have seen it has been a bit 50-50 and then Chelsea score the winning goal - that is what they can do.

"If we can reach our best level then, why not? We can get a good result, but we have to be at our best. Like Liverpool, Chelsea are hard to score against and if they score first it is very difficult. We have to try everything, we have special strikers, so maybe they will prove the difference."