Fitness boost for Bouma
By Mark Buckingham
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Wilfred Bouma expects to shake off an ankle injury in time for Aston Villa's next match.
Wilfred Bouma is confident he will have shaken off an ankle injury in time for Aston Villa's next match.
The defender missed the club's 2-0 defeat at Reading earlier this month after picking up a knock in Holland's friendly with Russia.
But with Villa not having a game this weekend, Bouma expects to be fit for the 3rd March encounter with Fulham.
"I got a knock on my left ankle in the last 10 minutes," said Bouma. "I should have come off, but as I hadn't played for Holland for a year-and-a-half, I continued.
"Straight after the game the ankle was swollen and, because the Reading game was only three days later, it just came too soon.
"I talked about it with the manager and he said we'd got three weeks with no game, so there was no point taking a risk.
"But I'll be fine for Fulham because I'm training again."
Bouma has made 14 Premiership appearances in his second season at Villa Park and feels he is approaching his peak form.
He added: "I'm really encouraged by my form. As a left-back, this is the best football I've ever played, but I've also never felt so strong or fit either.
"Last season I had a lot of injuries. I was also a bit homesick for a couple of months and, if you're not feeling right mentally, you can't show your best on the pitch.
"But I came here to show people I'm a good player and was determined to do that. I didn't want to read in the papers I was a flop."