JAMES VAUGHAN heads back to Crystal Palace today telling Huddersfield Town fans: “I want to start talking about goals, not injuries.”
The 31 games the striker played on loan to Palace from Everton in 2010-11 is his highest appearance tally in one season.
Blighted by fitness problems at both Goodison and current parent club Norwich, Vaughan is just back from a thigh strain which cost him seven games.
The season-long loanee says he is feeling fit and fresh, and is desperate to add to a tally of four goals in 11 appearances in the televised teatime contest at Selhurst Park.
“It’s well documented that I’ve had my problems in the past,” said the 24-year-old (inset).
“But this one was a simple strain, and relatively minor. I’m feeling good and fit again, I’ve no niggles troubling me, and I want to get out there and help the team. I try to look after myself as best I can and I’m working hard at all aspects of my training – and match preparation and warm-down – to make sure I minimise future problems.”
High-flying Palace have figured prominently in Vaughan’s career, because he became the youngest scorer in Premier League history at their expense.
The Birmingham-born Everton youth product was 16 years, 271 days old when he netted in a 4-0 win at Goodison in April 2005.
He notched nine times for the South London side, including a hat trick on his home debut against Portsmouth.
“It went well for me there, and Palace helped me mature massively as a player,” he explained. “We successfully fought off relegation and I learned a lot. The people there were great and the fans were great, and they are a club I hold in very high regard, but today, I want them to lose!”
Teenage Town strikers Max Leonard and Connor Loftus have gone out on loan to Evo-Stik (Northern Premier) League clubs Garforth Town and Mossley respectively.