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Huws Setting Sights on Twin Target
Monday, 18th Nov 2019 17:12

Emyr Huws has set his sights on a twin end-of-season target – promotion back to the Championship with Town and an international recall by Wales for Euro 2020.

The midfielder, keen to show his injury problems are finally over, smiled: “That’s a nice little double-header, a goal to aspire to, and if I stay fit and play regularly I think it could happen.”

Llanelli-born Huws, who has not represented his country since June 2017 when he won senior cap number 11 as a substitute in a World Cup qualifier in Serbia that ended 1-1, is hoping Ryan Giggs’s side can defeat Hungary tomorrow night in Cardiff and secure a place in the Euro finals being staged right across the continent next summer.

“It’s a massive game on Tuesday against Hungary,” he added. “I speak to some of the boys and it’s huge – win and we’re through.

“Hopefully I can get involved again in the future – that’s the goal for sure – but for now I just need to focus on me and improving. I think the rest will take care of itself.”

The key to what Huws could achieve after a lengthy exile from playing clearly rests with his fitness and while he recently completed two full games, he admitted he is still rusty in some aspects of his game. He continued: “I’m my own harshest critic and I know what I can do. I feel I’ve been playing a bit naively at times but that will come.

“I’m still in the process of getting back to full match fitness so my game management will also improve. But the important thing is that I’m enjoying the challenge. We’re doing well and it’s the perfect environment to be in.

“When I didn’t play even once last season it seemed there was no light at the end of the tunnel so it was really tough. It was interesting to experience it all and it’s nice to have come out the other end.”

Part of Huws’s rehabilitation was to head for Qatar in the summer of 2018, where team-mates James Norwood and Kane Vincent-Young both had surgery earlier in the season.

“I actually went out there with Andre Dozzell and Tom Adeyemi,” he recalled. “It was nice to get away for some sun and do my rehab. There are some good people that work there so it was nice to work with them.

“The change of scenery is good for players when they are injured. The facilities are good out there but the approach is quite similar to back home.

“It was more about a change of environment so you don’t get bored. It can get quite monotonous doing the same thing and it was a great experience to go out to Qatar.”

Huws praised Town boss Paul Lambert for the way he has backed his fight to get back. “The manager has been good with me to be fair,” he said. “The gaffer and the staff have supported me when I’ve had some struggles.

“There were games in pre-season when I didn’t feel amazing. I may have felt good physically but didn’t feel like I was thriving.

“I’ve got to a point now where I feel stronger, fitter and quicker, and they have helped me to get to that point.

“Credit to them for that and now I’m like any footballer, wanting to start games. That’s the goal, to be starting week in, week out, and I think I’ll get there. I just want to keep working hard and helping the team.”

Huws looked back on his lengthy absence through injury and how difficult it was at times. While he stuck rigidly to the expert guidance of the club’s medical staff, he also put in a lot of time working on his own in the dome at the training ground with just a ball for company.

He added: “I always did my little extras, like going up to the dome, just me and a ball. I enjoy it and I’m doing it even more now, putting in more hours, practicing my shooting and stuff, because I want to do that more when I’m out on the pitch and score a few goals.

“Practice does help and I can see it helps. What makes me practice more is that I can see how it is helping me.

“It can be lonely when you’re injured and there’s no certainty with the end result. But it happens all the time in the game and it’s a test of character for players when they are out with an injury.

“It’s a tough game, a dog eat dog business, and if you’re not fit to play you are useless, simple as that. That’s why I have to keep fighting for what I want to achieve.

“I’m pretty confident I’m through the worst of it and that what I have been through there are many who wouldn’t have gone through it. I’m really looking to every game and the future.

“There are goals I want to achieve and nothing is going to be in my way – it’s just me.

Photo: TWTD

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