Piquionne targets United return

Piquionne missed the battling goalless draw at Tottenham after

injuring his foot when he scored in the 2-1 FA Cup defeat at Stoke

on March 13. However, after stepping up his recovery sessions in

the gym, the nine-goal forward hopes he will be fighting fit when

the relegation-battling Hammers look to put a dent in United’s

Premier League title ambitions with victory at Upton Park in

Saturday’s lunchtime kick-off. “I am recovering well,” Piquionne

said. “The physio and I are hoping this week I can train with the

first team. “My right toes were injured, it was really painful. It

was a shame because I started the Stoke game slowly, but I was able

to score. “I needed to come off and it was a shame for the rest of

the game. I think I could have scored again and we might have won

the game.” Piquionne hopes to hit the ground running after an

extended break. He added: “It has been good for me. I have two

weeks to come back. I have extra time to prepare for the big game

against Man U and I hope I can be back.” A four-game unbeaten run

has seen Avram Grant’s men climb out of the bottom three. Piquionne

is confident the Hammers can pick up what would be a

morale-boosting third straight home win. “It is time to take points

now because there are just eight games until the end of the season.

We need to stay in the Premier League,” he told West Ham TV.

“Confidence is high. In the Premier League we have had some good

results against Stoke and Liverpool at home and we need to keep

this confidence against Manchester United. Maybe we can win the

game. “The supporters are very good and we need them for the rest

of the season. I hope we stay in the Premier League and the team

will do the maximum for that. “For that I need to stay cool to help

my team and I need to train hard to get back into the team.”