Dyer: The Perfect Time for Me to Return to Town
Tuesday, 15th Mar 2011 07:49
Returning local hero Kieron Dyer says now is the perfect time for him to come back to Town. Dyer signed on loan for a month last Friday and is set to make his first appearance for the Blues at Portman Road tonight when Watford visit Suffolk.
Speaking at a press conference yesterday, Dyer said: “I’ve always got blue in my heart and I thought it was the perfect time to come back. I’m glad we played the first game away because I’ve got that bit more match fitness and, come Tuesday and Saturday, I’ll be getting back closer to my best and hopefully can shine and put a show on for the fans.
“The club means everything to me, they gave me my chance in football, I’m a home town boy here. I’m a bit gutted that the season I left they got into the Premiership because it was always a dream of mine to play in the Premiership with this team.
“After my last game [the 1998/99 play-off defeat to Bolton], I did make a promise to myself that I would never come back because I thought my last game was the perfect way to say goodbye – scoring a brace in front of the North Stand.
“But I’ve been getting itchy feet for the last few years, I keep coming back here to watch games and when the chance came to come for a month to get some games and get some fitness, I jumped at it, even though I probably fell out with Craig Bellamy at the same time.”
Bellamy, a friend since his Newcastle days, had tried to persuade him to join him at Cardiff, however, another former team-mate, ex-Blue Simon Milton, had also been trying to get him to return to Town: “Milts came on to me, he said he’d had [Town chief scout] Steve McCall on to him about a loan. I said ‘No, I can’t!’, but he kept getting on to me.
“I also had Craig on to me about Cardiff. Then West Ham said I could go somewhere for a month and here I am.”
The 32-year-old says Hammers boss Avram Grant has told him what he expects from the switch: “The manager at West Ham wants me to get this month out of the way and then go back and help them. He’s a big fan of mine, I get on really well with him.
“That’s the aim at the moment. But who knows? In a month West Ham could be flying and they might decide I’m not good enough to get in the team.
“But, at the moment, having spoken to the West Ham manager, it’s just for a month and then back I go to help out West Ham.”
Dyer’s contract at Upton Park is up in the summer and he says money won’t play a role in where he goes next: “I’m not boasting or bragging, but I’m in a very fortunate situation in that whatever my decision is – whether it be to go abroad and try something different, come home or go to a Championship club or try America – it’ll come down to a family point of view and from a footballing standpoint.
“It’s the love of the game and wanting to play the game that’s driving me on. When you’re injured, you want to get back on the pitch and get that buzz of playing. That’s what gets you through.
“I’m not in football for the financial point of the game. Whatever my decision is in the summer it’s purely going to be on football and my family, which is a good position to be in. I’ll have to have a break in the summer and take it from there. Who knows?”
Injuries have restricted the midfielder to just 17 starts and 18 sub appearances since joining the Hammers for £6 million in the summer of 2007, a record which led to co-chairman David Sullivan suggesting he should retire, however Dyer says he never considered hanging up his boots: “There were times when I broke down at the training ground and I’d come in with the physios and rant and rave and say I can’t be bothered to go through another three months of rehab.
“But after that initial five or 10 minutes it’s never crossed my mind. Maybe Mr Sullivan was hopeful that I’d call it a day, but you’d have to ask him, not me.
“It’s been frustrating for the last five or six years. Maybe a new environment, even only for a month, might give me the lift and the good fortune that I deserve, so fingers crossed.
“I still think I’ve got a lot to offer in this game. I just need a bit of luck, a rub of the green along the way and I think it will be all systems go.
“In a way I’m fortunate compared to someone like someone like Dean Ashton because I’m towards the end of my career, while he had his career to look forward to, he wasn’t even at his peak.”
The former Newcastle man says he can’t be blamed for his injuries, particularly when he's not always received the best expert advice: “It’s not like I’ve been a bad pro or haven’t put in the hours in the gym. I’ve done all I could to get fit and sometimes it has been out of my hands. I’ve been wrongly diagnosed with a lot of my injuries.
“I was out for a whole season at West Ham with a hamstring injury. I went to see a certain specialist after a year and he told me that it was because I had a 10cm piece of scar tissue and that if that was broken down, I’d be playing football again. I haven’t had a hamstring injury since. Who’s to blame for that?
“With my thigh, which has kept me out for most of this season, they found out that my thigh wasn’t gliding right and needed an injection and, touch wood, I haven’t felt my thigh since.
“You get labelled as injury prone, but sometimes when you follow what the medical team or certain specialists are telling you and you’re diagnosed wrong, what can you do?
“I think I’ve had more than my fair share of bad luck. I just want to play football and I haven’t had the chance in the last three seasons.”
Dyer says that despite his lack of games, West Ham fans have always been good to him and that if he does return at the end of his spell with Town he hopes to play some role in helping them avoid relegation: “I would be nice to go through this month and go back and show them and perform for them and maybe score the goal that keeps them up because it has been a frustrating four years, the club have paid me a lot of money and they spent a lot of money on me.
“It was unfortunate I broke my leg so soon and they haven’t seen the best of me, but it could all have a happy ending.”
Nevertheless, it’s clear that it’s Suffolk and Town where Dyer’s heart lies and where he feels he has unfinished business: “I love this place and I’ll always want to be a part of this place.
“This is my home town club, they gave me the chance, I support them. I always come back here when I can to watch.
“The only thing that I still have a bee in my bonnet about is that I didn’t play in the Premiership with this club. And the season I left they bloody went up!
“When I scored that header [against Bolton] and the game went into extra time I could only see one team winning. I went through three play-off losses and didn't even get to Wembley, and then the season I go they go up and go to Wembley as well!
“The one thing I do take out of it was that they bought Marcus Stewart, Jermaine Wright, John McGreal and maybe Martijn Reuser from my fee. So I do take credit for them getting up!”
Perhaps next season Dyer will get the chance to finally right that wrong.
Photo: Action Images
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