ORIENT striker Jabo Ibehre will relish the chance to rub shoulders with Fulham's big name players on Sunday and further increase the ambition he still has to make it to the top of English football, writes Peter King.

The 22-year-old, who has been back amongst the goals over the festive period, had been tipped as a future star of the game when he burst on to the scene as a raw teenager at Brisbane Road at the start of the new millenium.

But the former England youth international has seen his promising career stall as a result of a succession of injuries although being represented by the same agent that takes care of the likes of Thierry Henry still gives him the drive to fulfil his dreams.

He said: "Like all the lads I'm really looking forward to the Fulham game, because you always want to test yourself against the best players and of course it would be a dream come true to score a goal in a match like that.

"Obviously the last few years have been frustrating for me because injuries have hampered my progress, but I still want to achieve big things and without ambition you won't get anywhere.

"I've always stayed strong mentally when I've had my injury problems and hopefully I can get back on the climb this season and still reach a good level one day.

"I have got time on my side still and even now when I go to visit my agent's office and you see pictures on the wall of people like Thierry Henry and Ian Wright you realise what can be achieved in the game.

"I'm not saying that I'm at that level, but these people inspire you as a player to go on and make the most of your ability and see what you can achieve with it."

And with manager Martin Ling set to strengthen his squad with another striker during the transfer window, Ibehre will be pleased to have made the most of Lee Steele's latest injury setback with three goals in four games.

But the unselfish frontman is far more worried about the O's realising their promotion aims, than to consider his own place in the team.

He added: "After coming out of the side against Rochdale I was a little disappointed but all I could do was put my head down and wait to get another chance.

"And now that it has come along again it is great to be back in the team and scoring which hopefully I can keep up now.

"It is the first season for a long time that I've not had any major problems with injuries and I would love to make it into double figures and hopefully play a big part in helping us get promoted.

"The main thing though is that whoever is playing we are winning and while some people may be worried that the manager is bringing in another player in their position, I feel that competition and strengthening the squad is a good thing.

"The team spirit has always been good here and the main objective is promotion, which I'm sure we can all play our part in."