Hat-Trick Hero Hughes Happy Just to Be On the Pitch
Tuesday, 18th Jan 2022 15:04
U23s hat-trick hero Tommy Hughes said he was happy just to be on the pitch during yesterday’s 4-2 home victory over QPR, let alone scoring three goals.
Hughes, 21, was making his first start for 22 months following a long spell out with injury, having made a handful of sub appearances since returning to action in November.
The victory over the West Londoners was the U23s’ second since the turn of the year after a 2-0 win away against leaders Cardiff City last week.
“It's been brilliant for the lads since we've come back after Christmas,” Hughes told the club site. “Hopefully we can get into the play-offs like we have for the past few years.
“Without the goals, I would have been happy just to be out on the pitch. I’ve worked so hard over the past month, so I knew was ready to play.
“To keep coming back, breaking down and going through hip surgery to being able to return, I’m just so happy to be back.”
Hughes, who made three first-team cup appearances in 2019/20, added: “There are a few people I need to thank. Obviously my mum and how she’s been dealing with me. When I came home I was sometimes down or sometimes happy and she’s handled me really well.
“Alice [Grindrod], who was the club’s player care officer and is now working with the first team, has been absolutely brilliant for me, helping me every day and getting me through it.
“My friends and family have all been around me. [U23s manager] Kieron [Dyer] had his injury problems in his own career so he’s been a really good mentor for me to speak to. The physios, sports science guys, Bryan [Klug], there’s so many people that have helped me.”
Photo: Matchday Images
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