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Nydam: It's Good to Be Back
Sunday, 11th Apr 2021 11:19

Midfielder Tristan Nydam was delighted to make his return to senior action as a sub in yesterday’s 0-0 home draw with the MK Dons, two years to the day since his last competitive first-team game.

The 21-year-old broke his fibula and sustained ruptured ankle ligaments in the pre-season friendly at Notts County in July 2019.

His last competitive fixture was the 2-0 defeat at Brentford two years ago yesterday when he came on as a sub, his only appearance under Paul Lambert’s management having spent the first half of that campaign at St Johnstone where he made only one start and four sub appearances.

As a result of the injury, he went 581 days without a game at any level before making his return in an U23s game against QPR in February.

“It was good, good to be back,” Nydam said. “Two years to the day since I last played a game for the first team, so it’s good to be back. It was a bit tough out there, but I’m happy to be back there.

“I think Thursday or Friday, the gaffer told me I might be involved, so it’s been a good few days. I’ve been working towards this for a long time, so it’s been really good.”

Manager Paul Cook took the former England U18 and U19 international to one side before the game to give him a brief pep talk.

“He said to go out and do what I’ve been doing for the U23s, don’t be silly and work myself too hard,” he said. “The gaffer’s been great, he’s really great, the gaffer.”

Zimbabwe-born, Colchester-raised Nydam was introduced for Teddy Bishop in the 62nd minute and showed few signs of rustiness as he got on the ball and was very much involved during his time on the field.

“It’s obviously a big part of my game to try and get on the ball and then I’ve got the energy and the tenacity some people might say,” he said. “I feel like that’s part of my game, so I just went out there and tried to do what I can do.”

Nydam has always primarily been viewed as a midfielder, however, prior to his injury in pre-season 2019 he had largely operated at left-back and his first few games with the U23s having made his return were in that role. However, the one-time St Benedict's Catholic College in Colchester pupil is happiest in midfield.

“As I was first coming back I was playing left-back and maybe that was in my head a little bit,” he continued. “But now I’ve had a go in midfield with the U23s, I’ve started to enjoy it and I think midfield is probably my best position.”

Asked whether he is ready to start a game, he said: “We’ll have to wait and see! That 30 minutes was tough, I was waiting for my second wind to kick in.

“We’ll have to wait and see, it’s down to me to keep working hard and showing the gaffer what I can do.”

Nydam was one of six Town academy graduates involved against the Dons with Bishop, Luke Woolfenden, Andre Dozzell, Flynn Downes and Armando Dobra all starting.

“There are a lot of the young boys that have come through the academy and it’s great that we’re all on the pitch together, helping each other,” he added.

Looking back at his two years on the sidelines, he said: “It’s been tough, not just physically but mentally as well. Obviously I wasn’t involved in the first team in 2019 before I broke my leg and that happened and it’s been a long process recovery-wise. But that’s led to this and I’m pleased to be back.”

However he says he believed he would get back, although he admits to doubts at one stage: “Yes, although there were some part of me, like 10 per cent, that maybe thought after that first six months when I was supposed to be back and nothing happened, ‘is it going to happen for me?’.

“But the physios have been superb, the coaching staff, no one’s forced me back. It’s been a long road but there’s light at the end of the tunnel.”

He paid tribute to those who supported him during his recovery: “Obviously BY [physio Matt Byard] and the rest of the physio team, they’ve been superb with me. And then we’ve got Bryan [Klug] and Kieron [Dyer], they know what I’m like, they’ve been helping me. And the new gaffer’s come in, he’s not put any pressure on me whatsoever.

“And then I’ve got my family, my mum, my brothers and all my friends. My team-mates have been superb as well.

“Obviously there have been a few of us with long-term injuries, so we all stuck together and helped each other. It’s never nice for anyone to have a long-term injury but we’ve all stuck together and it’s been good.”

Nydam says his team-mates still made him feel part of the group despite his lengthy absence: “Of course, you come into the changing room, they’re all speaking to you, they’re all making you feel welcome and they don’t need to do that, but they do which shows what a tight group of lads we are. Everyone gets along, there’s no feistiness, the animosity in the dressing room. It’s good.”

Like most players injured long-term, he says it wasn’t always easy watching games: “You just want to get out there, but you have your challenges in life, it’s just how you overcome them, and there’s light at the end of the tunnel for everyone.”

He says he’s confident in the ankle, which he knows may come as a surprise after such a serious injury.

“A lot of people might think I might be scared to make a tackle but that’s not in my head,” he insisted. “I’m cautious whether to do too much in training but making tackles and stuff, that’s not in my head.”

Has he changed as a person for the experience? “Yes, I think I’ve matured a little. On the pitch sometimes I used to be a bit feisty, used to be a bit mouthy but I’ve matured a little. Whether that’s my injury or me growing up, I’m not sure, but I have changed a little bit.

“My ankle’s feeling fine. I’ve still hopefully got another 12, 13 years ahead of me. Plenty to look forward to.”

Nydam believes he’s still a little way off his best form: “I still think I’ve got a good while to go because I’ve only been back a couple of months.

“I don’t know when my first [U23] game was, maybe February and they usually say it takes you the same amount of time to get back [as you’ve been out] but hopefully for me that’s not the case!

“I still think I’ve got a few more months before I get back to my best but I’m getting there each and every day. And with the help of the staff, the gaffer, Kieron, Bryan, I think I can get there.”

He is among the legion of Town players whose contracts are up in the summer, although the club have an option to keep him for a further season, and he says there have been no talks regarding extending his stay at the club - he joined as an U10 - up to now.

“No, not yet. I’m not focused on that, I’m just focused on getting back to playing football,” he continued.

“It’s been a long road, so for me, getting back to playing U23s and then building towards the first team, that’s been the main goal. The contract situation’s not really been in my head too much.”

In addition to the two years out, the previous season was a frustration with the St Johnstone loan not working out and just that one brief appearance during Town’s Championship relegation campaign. It was 2017/18 under Mick McCarthy in which he made most of his 14 senior starts and eight sub appearances for the Blues.

“Two years ago today was my first appearance in that season,” he recalled. “It was three years ago really when I was involved.

“It’s been a long road, there are seven games left and hopefully I can be involved in them as much as possible.

“Whether I am or not, it doesn’t really bother me, as long a I’m playing games. If I’m involved, fantastic, but I just want to be back playing [at any level].

“Of course, it was tough but it’s how you overcome those challenges and how you focus going forward. But as I’ve said before, there’s light at the end of the tunnel for everyone, everyone goes through bad times and hopefully I’ve overcome it and I can just keep moving.”

Nydam says new manager Paul Cook’s approach to the game with constant pressing and a high work-rate to the fore suits him and, assuming he does get offered a new deal, that bodes well for the future.

“It does,” he reflected. “Thirty minutes today was tough, but that side of the game suits me, I’ve got a bit of energy, I’m quite tenacious, I do like a tackle, so that suits me.

“You’ve got to be optimistic. Whether it’s just how the manager wants you to play, you’ve got to be optimistic, you’ve got to go into each game take it in your stride and move from there.”

Perhaps surprisingly, Nydam says this week’s takeover of the club hasn’t been a big topic of discussion among the squad.

“The boys have just got on with it,” he said. “It’s not been in anyone’s mind, we’ve just got on and focused on today’s game and focused on the next seven games, that’s not really been what we’ve talked about. I’ve not heard anyone discuss it really.”

Photos: TWTD/Matchday Images

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Linkboy13 added 11:41 - Apr 11
Out of all the young players at Ipswich i would luv this Lad to succeed. Steve Foley says he's a really good kid and likened him to Bryan Robson. Of course he hasn't got a dad at the club so he will have to work hard for his place. Don't think he's big enough to play at full back and midfield is his best position. Good luck to the lad anyway.

Skip73 added 12:03 - Apr 11
Linkboy, a sly dig at Dozzell?

CraigEdwards added 12:08 - Apr 11
Great little player and could be massive if he stays injury free
It could be like having a new arrival on a free
Good luck lad.

Ipswichbusiness added 12:50 - Apr 11
It’s really good to see him back after such an awful injury.

I hope that he has a long and fulfilling career with us.

He could solve a few of our problems on the left side (either left midfield or left back).

ShropshireBluenago09 added 12:51 - Apr 11
Played well when he came on yesterday. Could turn out to be the best midfielder at the club.

ringwoodblue added 13:01 - Apr 11
Welcome back Tristan.

What a terrible team you have returned to but hopefully you may be one of our young players we will keep and build a new team around.

Good luck with your ongoing return to fitness.

LimerickTractorBoy added 14:37 - Apr 11
Brilliant that Tristan has put the dark days behind him. Hopefully he will be a big part of an exciting new era for Ipswich.
Unfortunately most of the current bloated squad need to be moved on, they have spoiled for too many Saturday afternoons/Tues evenings for long suffering Town supporters.

Gforce added 15:14 - Apr 11
Deserves at least a new one year deal.

Steve_ITFC_Sweden added 15:23 - Apr 11
Must keep Tristan - and I'm sure we will.

Edmundo added 15:50 - Apr 11
If he can live up to potential (how many times have we said that?!) he's as good as a new signing. Bryan Robson? If he's half as good we'll have a great leader.

DifferentGravy added 16:26 - Apr 11
Well done Tristan. Obviously ring rusty and touch will improve for the outing. But got himself into some really good positions and great to have him back

Suffolkboy added 16:47 - Apr 11
This young man epitomises many many good things ,honesty , humility , integrity and commitment allied to enthusiasm . Let’s hooe PC feels professionally able to recommend he gats at least a short term contract with options ,enabling him to show his true strengths and worth to our team !

Dolphinblue added 19:06 - Apr 11
Since when is someone not big enough to be a full back....wierd comment....

runningout added 19:39 - Apr 11
Nydam has to prove he has it like all of our squad. We need a near complete change of personnel. Our over- Hyped up players have lost any mojo they had. Good luck to them wherever they end up

Marinermagic added 19:51 - Apr 11
White shorts next season please.

GatesofDelirium added 20:25 - Apr 11
Great to see Nydam back after such an horrendous injury. Played well yesterday too. Would like to see him in tandem with Downes in the midfield providing energy, closing down the opposition and creating a platform for our forwards to finally start scoring.

warwickblue added 21:40 - Apr 11
Great to see him back on the pitch. Two years is a long time for anyone, but for a teenager at the very beginning of a pro-career it must have seemed like an eternity. I sincerely hope he is rewarded with a new contract.

Linkboy13 added 08:15 - Apr 12
Dolphinblue Too play full back you have to be physically strong and solid, you also have to compete for a lot of aireal balls. If teams know you are weak in this department they will target you. Myles Kenlock is a player that is not strong physically and gets knocked off the ball quite easily in one on one situation's, apart from that he's very good and would probably have moved on to a higher level by now.

KiwiBlue2 added 10:30 - Apr 12
Great pity that he has lost the last two years with him having shown a lot of promise earlier. Hope that he is offered a decent new contract beyond a year. If he can finish the season strongly he will be well positioned to push on for a starting place next season as he has the attributes that PC is seeking. Barring another serious injury he could turn out to be the best of the academy players currently in the team and one well capable of handling the Championship and possibly above if we get there. Good luck Tristan, keep working hard and keep your feet on the ground the world is your oyster......


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