West Ham to keep faith with Futre

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West Ham are to persevere with the injury-prone Paulo Futre, whose future at Upton Park was in doubt.

Harry Redknapp, the club's manager, announced at the weekend he was about to tell the the 30-year-old former Porto and Milan striker that he would have to send him home because his fitness has not reached the required level for the rigours of the Premiership.

The Portuguese international has made only four starts for the Hammers, plus four other appearances as substitute, all without scoring.

However, Futre is being given one more chance after further consultation with medical advisors and Redknapp said: "I am happy with that. We will continue to see how it goes, because it has been proved that, if fully fit, Paulo is a top-class player."

Peter Storrie, the West Ham managing director, said: "Any stories that we have given up completely on Futre are misleading and, at the least, premature. In fact, there are encouraging signs that he could be back in light training later this week."

A severe knee injury has troubled Futre and he will again be missing for tonight's visit of Aston Villa in the Premiership.

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