Having made his comeback from a four-month injury lay-off at Lincoln City on Tuesday night, Hiram Boateng is delighted to be returning to first team action at such a crucial time in the season.
The City midfielder knows that he has to take things one step at a time, having only made a substitute appearance so far, but with 12 games of the season to go and the club sitting fifth in the table it is all set for a good finish to the campaign for himself and the club.
“I was delighted to be back,” he said. “I have been out for a long time. I have just been working hard to get myself ready and back playing and it was a great feeling to be out there playing again.
“The lads have been working really hard. I have been at the games and I have seen how much work they have put in to get us into the position that they are in at the moment. Hopefully, I can add when I am needed to help the squad.”
Part of that help was the assists that Hiram made in the first two-and-half months of the season. When he got injured, Hiram was top of the assist charts with five to his name, but now Lee Holmes has overtaken him with eight. So, has Hiram got his sights set on closing that gap?
“Hopefully I can catch him,” he smiled. It is a good thing though. It is healthy competition. We all want to be doing that (making assists) and I love everyone to be on eight assists right now because that would benefit us. We are all pushing each other and making each other better in training every day.”
Speaking about the injury – a hip flexor complaint – Hiram says the road back was tough and he has to take things one step at a time.
“It is a hard time for anyone when they are injured,” he said. “I have been going along with my rehab with Troy (Brown) and the physio staff and that helps you get through it, but these things happen in football and you have just got to keep yourself going and pick yourself up.
“I was made aware early doors that it was a tough kind of injury to overcome and there was a chance of feeling it again and we pushed, me and the physio staff, to try and get me back on the pitch as soon as possible and I felt it a bit when I did come back first time around and I just had to try and get it right. We have done that now.
“I am trying to take every step as it comes and hopefully get myself back in the team, because that is what I aim to do. It is just like all the other lads. They all want to be playing. Whatever way I can help the team that is what I am going to try and do.”
Up next at St James Park:
City take on Oldham Athletic on Saturday, April 27 in a 3pm kick-off. Ticket prices are cheaper in advance. Click here to buy online.