This week was an eventful week to say the least, full of ups and downs! To start with I was still injured from the game against Middlesbrough and it meant I had to come in on Sunday to do some extra training and try jogging with the physio. Sunday’s are still not the best days for me because I’m always half asleep more so than other days.
On Monday I had to report for physio at 8 o’clock in the morning, we normally report at 8.30 but I’d been coming in at 8 for the past few days and I must say that just that extra half hour in bed makes such a big difference to my mood in the mornings. Every day it takes me so long to get in the swing of things since my injury because I am just not a morning person!
After jogging for the first time in 4 or 5 days on Sunday, and with there being no reaction, it meant that the physio Andy Imrey (aka Immers) and I could step up my recovery and look to do some light sprints. These were around say 60% of my top speed, which isn’t that fast anyway so would be a jog to most other people!
So after receiving treatment and icing my leg for twenty-thirty minutes, Immers and I went for a twenty minute jog to warm up with and then did four sets of four sprints over a 60 metres distance with dynamic exercises in between – I hope you understand that part.
We also did some passing over short and longer distances, and 5-15 metres which was quite eventful. Let’s just say the standard wasn’t that high from my rusty self and Immers, well, he knows himself he was off form with his passing on this occasion!
The session all in all took about an hour on top of the treatment so we had been working for about an hour and a half and there was no reaction in the thigh which was good news. After that we got the good news from our coach that we would be off for the afternoon and normally injured players have to train but I was allowed the afternoon off as well which meant I could go home watch a few DVD’s and catch up on some rest.
Tuesday was a double day like usual, I was in at 8 again in the morning, had some treatment and got myself ready for the gym session. Once we’d done the gym session which took about 45 minutes, we had education with Sean and Dennis for an hour or so and they gave us the good news that our NVQ files are almost complete. This means we’ll now get a free hour on Monday and Tuesday mornings which will give us time to just chill out or do some other work to hopefully get all education work done early before the end of the season.
We went out to train just after 10 o’clock. I had more treatment before going out to train with Immers and did some one to one work to try and get me back fit as quickly as possible without aggravating my thigh. I did some sprints at a faster pace than on Monday and I felt a bit unfit but there was no reaction in my thigh which was all good news.
In the afternoon I did some short agility work and also some shooting at goal which meant striking through the ball so I would use a full range of movement in my legs to kick. With it being short and fast movements through poles and cones before striking the ball, I was knackered to say the least!
I had an ice bath when I got back and that helped a bit. When I got home I just rested all night with my legs up on the sofa and was asleep by about half nine. It had been a tough day.
Wednesday was education day and I had some treatment before that. On Thursday due to me showing good improvements and no reactions, the Physio’s agreed to put me in full training which I was very pleased to be doing. On Thursday I participated in the whole training session bar the end of it where I did some sprints at 100% pace with Immers to see if I was really ready to be back training with the squad.
Fortunately I didn’t feel anything and got through both the sprints and the training session, so although I felt a bit heavy chested and not too fit, I was glad to be back with the lads and training. After that we had a gym session and then education in the afternoon.
On Friday we had a usual pre-match morning, did some throw catch and I was on the winning team again which is just getting ridiculous now! After that we did a passing drill and some shape work which progressed in to some crossing in and finishing.
When we got back my coach told me that I would be starting the game because he wanted me to try out my thigh and see if I was okay and however long I lasted he would take me off. He said he’d rather do that than put me on at some point and then I have to come off which would waste another substitute. So on Friday I made sure I went home straight away and got plenty of rest ready for the game.
Unfortunately I had a horrible nights sleep and my throat was as rough as anything with my voice sounding like a 13 year old whose voice was breaking! I didn’t feel good at all and only got 4 or 5 hours sleep.
Match: Barnsley v Nottingham Forest
On Saturday morning I still didn’t feel good and in some ways wanted the game to be called off because I just thought there would be no way I could play. I had beans on toast like usual and struggled to eat it. Once we were on the bus and around ten minutes in to the journey I felt awful and a little sick.
We got to Barnsley after about an hour and a quarter and went out to look at the pitch. It was cold, the pitch was heavy from the bad weather and I just sat in the dugout and thought to myself ‘I feel so ill I’m never going to play this game’. I wasn’t the only one who felt rough a few other lads had chesty coughs and had felt a bit sick the previous few days.
We got inside and started to get changed and our coach said himself that the mood was quite dull and quiet and us lads didn’t seem like normal – which was true. He also stated that it’s on days like this when the conditions and pitch aren’t the best, and you’re not feeling well that you need to have characters in the team and just get on with it putting in a shift for the team. After he said that I knew I had to play, I couldn’t pull out now.
We went out to warm up and I still didn’t feel so good but concentrating on the football and running took my mind off how my body was feeling. As the game got under way we took a while to get in to the flow of things and passes weren’t smooth partly due to the pitch conditions and partly due to us not being at our best. As the half progressed I forgot that I felt ill and I managed to follow up a shot and got a tap in to put us 1 – 0 up at half time.
In the second half we were a lot better and played well with us dominating possession and putting together some good moves. My chest felt heavier and heavier as the half went on and I was glad that I managed to get through an hour of the game. I came off after 70 minutes and to play for that long I was grateful. We managed to win 3 – 0 with Rods getting two more goals.
After the game, once we were on the team coach, I felt rough as anything and I was in bed straight away when I got home and didn’t get out until Sunday evening, experiencing all the symptoms of some form of man-flu! I learnt from this Saturday that sometimes it’s best to just get through a game and take the consequences after it.