Laursen relishing playing

Danish defender is enjoying his football after a three-year injury nightmare

Laursen: Playing well

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Injury-plagued Aston Villa defender Martin Laursen is happy with his form and is appreciating every minute that he can play.

The former Milan player experienced a three-year nightmare with knee problems after moving from the San Siro to Villa Park during the summer of 2004.

But he has impressed since returning to the team towards the end of last season and has continued to play well this term.

Reflecting on his return to competitive play, Laursen, who is hoping to win a new contract if he maintains his current form, said: "I'm feeling good physically and that has always been the most important thing for me.

"The knee is not giving me any trouble. I am feeling good. That is nice.

Boost

"I finished off well last season and that was a big boost for me and then I had a good pre-season and I've managed to kick on from it and to train and to play the games.

"I'm very happy with my form at the moment. My confidence has improved with that and I've been lucky to have played some good games. The way I play football is suited more to England than in Italy.

"If there's one good thing about being injured, it makes you appreciate every minute you are on the pitch and every minute of every training session."

While happy with his form, Laursen is looking to improve in one area of his game - his goalscoring.

The Dane scored only his second goal in 45 internationals in the recent Euro 2008 qualifier with Liechtenstein, which added to a brace he netted for Villa in the 4-4 draw with Tottenham at White Hart Lane.

Laursen added: "I've now played 45 times for my country and to manage only two goals in that time is not the best of records to have.

"I should be able to score more and that's what my national managers have always wanted of me. They have asked me to be more dangerous when I get forward.

"I'm also aware of the fact that I should do better in that department for Aston Villa - and I'm working on that. The two against Spurs was good but I'm aware I don't score enough goals and I need to do something about it."