Drinan Delighted to Be Back
Monday, 30th Nov 2020 11:08
Fit-again striker Aaron Drinan is delighted to be back in action after a 10-week absence through injury and believes it is important Town bounce back with a win at Oxford tomorrow night.
Back-to-back home defeats to Hull and Charlton last week saw the Blues, who occupied pole position in League One soon after the start of the current campaign, drop to sixth in the table.
Drinan is a likely starter at the Kassam Stadium, having marked his long-awaited return to action when he came off the bench on Saturday as a 35th minute replacement for striker James Norwood, who limped off with a hamstring problem as the club’s lengthy injury list continued to grow.
The 22-year-old Irishman had been absent himself since the opening day of the league season, when he was forced off with a thigh injury at half-time as Paul Lambert’s men secured a 2-0 win over Wigan, but is now keen to make up for lost time.
Asked about tomorrow’s visit to Oxford, beaten play-off finalists last term but currently languishing in 19th place, Drinan said: “I think it’s important that we beat them. The two defeats we suffered last week were two we probably shouldn’t have lost.
“We should have got something from both games so a win at Oxford is important to us.
“I do think we need three points against Oxford and I believe we should be winning games like this one.
“We believe we should be winning most of our games in the season so it’s important that we get back on track, especially after we lost two at home.
“It’s obvious the results haven’t been going the way we would have liked, or even expected, but of course we are still going into every game looking to win.
“I understand the supporters’ frustration but we all need to stay patient and not sort of over-react in a way. Every team goes through these phases and hopefully we will be able to turn the corner at Oxford with a win.
“We have had a lot of injuries this season and picked up another two on Saturday with Nors [James Norwood] and Toto [Nsiala] both having to go off, which certainly didn’t help.
“But I still believe we are more than competent enough to turn things around and that there is enough depth to the squad to do that.
“We are looking forward to the game at Oxford, which gives us an opportunity to get the win we need.”
It was quite a feather in Drinan’s cap that he was earmarked to replace Norwood because boss Lambert also had strikers Kayden Jackson and Oli Hawkins, both of whom are more experienced, on the bench
“In a situation like that you don’t really know who’s going on until it happens,” he added. “It’s just a case of being prepared and ready in case you are needed.
“It was an unbelievable feeling to get back out there playing again. The gaffer kept talking to me and encouraging me when I was out injured.
“He said that once I was fit again I just had to do what I had been doing before in games and training.
“He assured me I would be fine so I was always confident I could get back to where I had been, in the first team, and that has proved to be the case.
“To be out for 10 weeks was a long time, especially as it was my first-ever injury in all the years I’ve been playing football.
“I’ve done a lot of work with Walshy [sports therapist Tom Walsh] out on the pitch to get my fitness levels back up with high end speed running so I feel good to go again tomorrow at Oxford.
“I owe the manager because he’s the one who has given me my chance and I always wanted to do my best for him and the team.
“I want to repay the faith he has shown in me and now that I’m fit again that is my main aim.”
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