Hibs’ Farid El Alagui determined to prove fitness

Hibs' Farid El Alagui is sure he has a few more years left to play. Picture: Andrew O'Brien.
Hibs' Farid El Alagui is sure he has a few more years left to play. Picture: Andrew O'Brien.
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Farid El Alagui is saddened by the way his Hibs career has panned out, but the fit-again striker insists his injury problems over the past 18 months or so won’t force him into early retirement.

The 31-year-old has spent most of this season sidelined, predominantly by ongoing pain following the removal last summer of metal screws which had been inserted when he underwent an Achilles operation in September 2014. Having endured a mentally-testing period in which he occasionally questioned if he’d ever be back scoring goals, El Alagui says he is pain-free and fully-fit for the first time in more than a year and a half.

However, the Moroccan has only two months left of a two-year contract and is struggling to command the game time required to remind everyone what he is capable of.

“It’s been a bit of a nightmare ever since I got my first injury at the start of last season,” he said. “It’s a shame because I was really happy at the start. Unfortunately the injuries have set me back and made it hard for me. I don’t know what will happen at the end of the season [regarding a contract]. I’ve just been concentrating on getting myself fit and playing.

“There was a point where I didn’t know if I’d ever be 100 per cent again, [but] I’m positive I’ve got a few years left. I don’t have any issues any more with my body.”

“I’m fully fit now. It will be up to the manager when I get my chance, so I have to make sure I’m ready when he needs me.”