Jason: Andre Will Come Back Better and Stronger
Wednesday, 9th Aug 2017 18:08
Blues legend Jason Dozzell says his son Andre will come back “better and stronger” from the torn cruciate knee ligament injury which ended his 2017/18 season on the opening day.
Andre, 18, was stretchered off shortly before half-time in the Blues' 1-0 home victory over Birmingham City at a time when he was becoming an increasing influence on his seventh Championship start.
A scan on Monday revealed that the injury was as serious as had been feared and that the academy product would be sidelined for nine months.
“I’m sure it’s not sunk in for him yet,” Jason told TWTD. “He’s OK but I’d imagine it’s not sunk in properly yet. Once he’s had the operation on Tuesday it could kick in.
“When there’s less attention through the winter, then he could get a little bit down, I would imagine.
“Then it’s down to me and the rest of the family and the people who work at the club to take that little bit of pressure off him.”
He added: “It’s difficult keeping positive but, as I say, that’s what we’re here for.
“A month ago he was lifting trophy at the Euros. Now he’s looking at a year out. We can all say ‘That’s football’ but that is a bit much for me, a big kick in the teeth with the circumstances of it all.
“I think he was ready to kick on big-time but there you go. He’ll be back better and stronger for it.”
While the domestic season has been written off, it might be that Andre could make his return to action next summer with England when the U19s look to retain the European Championships title he helped them to win last month.
“The Euros are on again in July, he’ll still be able to play in the U19s,” he added. “We’ll have to see if that’s a target or not, we’ll have to take it month by month.”
Andre had received treatment for a knock earlier on in Saturday’s game, leading some fans to wonder whether that contributed to the injury he suffered later in the half.
“Some people are saying that that may have been what did it,” Jason said. “There was a coming together when he went down, he was going one way and the other player was going the other.
“The challenge basically twisted his knee, I would imagine, with the other player going one way and him going the other, it was a firm challenge.
“He looked like he was in pain when he went down and I didn’t think he was going to get up from that one.
“But then he got up and then he started to play, didn’t he? He started to get on the ball, he seemed to be growing in belief and the other players seemed to be getting more belief in him.
“The injury came from a corner, the ball bounced, it went over his head, he turned, went up, came down and his leg gave way. Whether that first one [was a factor], I don’t know.”
Speaking on Monday, manager Mick McCarthy said he spoke to Andre on Sunday and pointed out to him that when he returns he’ll still only be 19 with around 16 years of football ahead of him.
“There are two sides of that, there’s the timing of it, but what Mick said was absolutely right, he will only be 19 when he gets back and he’ll still have a long career ahead of him,” Dozzell senior, now a coach at the Blues academy, agreed.
Like all players, one-time England U21 international Jason suffered injuries during his own career, although none which kept him out for as long as nine months.
“You’ve got to run around to get an injury and I didn’t run around, did I?” he joked. “I broke my ankle when I was 19 or 20 which kept me out for six months, that was my only bad one really throughout my career and hopefully this will be his only bad one.
“It’s definitely all about the rehab now. You can’t afford to cut corners on this, it’s something he’s really got to buy into and he’ll come back stronger, I’m sure he will.”
Jason, now 49, says he and Andre have been overwhelmed by the goodwill messages sent by fans and from those in football since Saturday, while David McGoldrick dedicated his two goals in last night’s Carabao Cup win at Luton to his team-mate.
“I must send out a thank-you message for all the support,” he added.
“It’s been quite emotional actually. We’ve had messages from everyone, Connor Wickham’s been in touch, other former players, the Birmingham lads, loads, thousands of texts I’ve had.”
Andre’s injury aside, it’s otherwise been a very positive start to the season for the Blues with Jason pleased to see Tristan Nydam, Flynn Downes - “I like him a lot” - and Luke Woolfenden all making progress from the academy into the first team.
He says the mood at Playford Road is very upbeat, little having been expected of Town prior to the season’s start, much as was the case back in 1991/92 when he was a key member of John Lyall’s team which won the old Second Division title.
“I’ve just been down there today with Andre and there’s a good feel about the place at the moment and hopefully it’ll carry on,” he said.
“It might be one of those seasons where no one expects anything, like us back in 1992.”
Photos: TWTD/Action Images
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