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Luis Boa Morte battles for a place

last updated Saturday 08th September 2001, 3:01 PM
Fulham striker Luis Boa Morte has declared he has nothing to prove as he battles to nail down a place in Fulham's first team.

The former Portugal Under-21 international is involved in a four-way fight for the two striking slots in Jean Tigana's team.

Boa Morte, 24, is available for the match against Charlton on Sunday after sitting out the first three Premiership matches of the new campaign with a suspension dating from last season.

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Tigana - who recruited more than £30million of fresh talent last month - will choose two forwards from Boa Morte, Barclaycard August Player of the Month Louis Saha and Barry Hayles.

Boa Morte's task is made easier by the news that £11.5million signing Steve Marlet is not expected to feature this weekend due to a knee problem - sustained with the French national team in Chile last weekend - but he knows he faces a match-by-match battle for his place.

The former Lisbon player failed to settle at both Arsenal and Southampton, but cracked 18 goals for the Cottagers last season and insisted: "I don't think I have anything to prove to anyone - only to myself, game after game.

"The manager looks for what is best for the team. If he brought Marlet in, it's because he thinks the team needs Marlet and he'll be a good player for the club. "My natural position is not striker. I'm left wing. I played most of last season as striker but first when I came to England (at Arsenal), I played left wing all the time. "It is up to the manager. If he puts me on the left, I prefer that position, but if he puts me inside, I have to play there. It's nice to be available again as it's been really hard watching team-mates playing."

Boa Morte believes the four forwards' determination to impress Tigana will have a positive effect on the team. He added: "The first point the players need to think is for the club.

"We've never been selfish - we try to train hard to get a position in the team. It's good competition for the team and it's good for the club."

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