Judge: No Problem With Coming Back, People Need Football and I Want to Play
Friday, 8th Jan 2021 12:13
Alan Judge admits he has no reservations about returning to action after being one of eight Town players to test positive for Covid last month, which led to four of the club’s scheduled league games being called off.
Judge, who is within three games of making the 300th league start of his career, is eager to feature in tomorrow’s visit of struggling Swindon, which will represent the Blues’ first game since they defeated bottom club Burton on December 15th, subsequent fixtures against Peterborough, Northampton, AFC Wimbledon and Fleetwood all having to be cancelled.
The former Republic of Ireland international said: “I don’t have a problem with coming back. People need football and I want to play football, so in my mind there’s no reason why I can’t continue.”
But Judge is fully aware that the enforced break might mean that he and his team-mates might need time to get up to full speed.
“We’ll have had 25 days between our last game against Burton and the one against Swindon tomorrow,” he added, “and the big positive is that so many of our injured players have had time to improve their fitness.
“They’ve gained nearly a month because they haven’t missed games, so hopefully they’re not too far from coming back to help us a bit. It’s a big game tomorrow and we want to come out quickly, but we have to be smart about how we do it.”
With the transfer window now open, Town still having 28 games to play and a Saturday-Tuesday-Saturday schedule likely to be in place for most of the remaining weeks, does Judge believe the squad could do with some new faces as well?
He said: “That’s not down to me but I feel the players who are on their way back from injury will have a lot to offer.
“They have been out for so long, a lot of them, that they will be like new signings and will give us a big lift.
“It’s going to be a hard slog for every club and because Accrington still have 30 games to play they are going to have one every four days through to the end of the season.
“We’re not too far away from a similar situation but with eight players coming back from injury they will all be used.
“It’s impossible for anyone to play Saturday-Tuesday-Saturday for four or five weeks in a row. That’s ridiculous, but it’s the world we’re living in at the moment and we’re fortunate that so many injured players are ready to come back and help us cope with such a busy programme.”
Acknowledging it has been a challenging 10 months for everyone right across the globe, he continued: “At the start, not knowing when we would be back and still having a lot of games to play to finish the season, it was difficult.
“Obviously, we’ve been hit by another wave of the virus and I’m pleased that the EFL are now going to be testing us regularly. I don’t really understand why that hasn’t been the case from the start.”
The players’ union, the PFA, are going to be funding twice-weekly tests at all EFL clubs and Judge added: “I’m not sure about the figures but I think it has cost around 40 grand so far to test everyone at the club – and that’s a lot of money for a League One or League Two club to be paying out.
“It should never have got to the stage where clubs had to pay for it. The EFL and the FA make enough money and we’re not Premier League teams, so they should have been helping out from the start. For me it’s a bit late that they’ve come in to help now.”
Judge turned his attention to the live-on-Sky clash with second-bottom Swindon, who have failed to win any of their last six games and taken just one point from a possible 18, and warned: “We have to be very wary of them.
“I think they’re in an unlucky position. From what we’ve heard and seen of them they’re a decent team with some good young players. I don’t think they deserve to be in the position where they find themselves at this moment in time.”
Photo: Matchday Images
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