Louis Saha ready to fight for regular Sunderland start

Louis Saha

New Sunderland signing Louis Saha is ready to fight for a regular starting place under manager Martin O'Neill.

He told BBC Newcastle: "The manager will decide and make sure I get a good share of games and help the side.

"I'm not going to be an unhappy player if I don't play every week but I'm a competitor who wants to play and score goals and help my team-mates."

O'Neill has made it clear the 34-year-old Frenchman is unlikely to be the only striker he signs this season.

He has already had three offers rejected for Wolverhampton Wanderers forward Steven Fletcher.

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Louis Saha happy to be back in north-east

But Saha is hoping he can be the main man to solve the Black Cats' goal-scoring problem. No Sunderland player reached double figures last season, with Nicklas Bendtner, on loan from Arsenal, and Stephane Sessegnon the top-scorers with eight.

Bendtner has since returned to Arsenal and while O'Neill is determined to strengthen his attacking options before the transfer window closes.

Saha believes he still has the fitness and speed to make a regular contribution.

"It was a few weeks before [moving to Sunderland after being released by Tottenham] became concrete but I was keeping my fitness at a really high level so I'd be ready to jump at any time and I was really pleased when things got done," he said.

At the same time Saha is hoping his presence will help the club's younger strikers, such as 19-year-old Connor Wickham.

"I've seen Connor in a few sessions now and I see he has loads of potential and hopefully I can help him reach the top - because he has the quality - by pushing him through competition and making sure everyone is aware they have to win their place."

Saha added that he was delighted to be back in the north-east 13 years after he played 11 games for Newcastle United while on loan from French side Metz.

"The Stadium of Light is a special atmosphere, one of the loudest because the fans are so passionate. The north-east is a lovely area. I never seem to see any grumpy people, and it's a great place to be a footballer."

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