Exeter City midfielder Nigel Atangana says that he’s looking forward to his return from injury as the Grecians host Forest Green Rovers at St James Park this Saturday.
City currently sit second in the league, one point behind first-placed Forest Green, as the top pair in Sky Bet League Two come head-to-head this weekend. There will also be a welcome return from injury Nigel, who has been completing his comeback to the first-team in recent weeks.
The long awaited return of Nigel seems like it’s finally coming to light, and after starting his first game of the season during Tuesday’s 2-0 win over Newport County AFC in the Leasing.com Trophy, the midfielder is raring to get going again in the league.
Speaking of his fitness and first start of the season against Newport earlier in the week, Nigel said: “I’m feeling really good, it was quite a test for me. I played 45 minutes last Thursday, 60 this Tuesday, and I’m feeling good.”
To start a game again was something that was particularly pleasing for Nigel, he continued: “The feeling was unbelievable. I had to wait a long time for my first game, and after eight months out it was a bit strange because you have to take your mark on the pitch, your position. Everything happens to be new for me, it’s like I have to learn again. But I’m really looking forward to the next month and I’m feeling ready.”
The City player was also keen to stress the difference between starting a league game to playing in the cup. He said: “It’s not the same, obviously the games I’ve played have been the cup games, which aren’t the same as the league games. When you come on for the last five minutes as I did, you need to be ready because everything can happen during the game, but it’s not the same as starting.”
And while Nigel has been watching on from the side-lines, the Frenchman expressed how impressed he has been with Exeter’s start to the season. He said: “I have been really impressed with the start of the season, we have started really well. I think Exeter start the season well every season, but this season is a bit special. We are second, we were top of the league for ten games and I have been quite impressed.”
With Nigel’s comeback, City bolster quite an extensive number of midfielders all vying for starting spots. The City no. 4 sees the midfield squad depth as healthy, however, and that it means when one player is lacking form, another can come in and replace them without compromising the team performance. “It’s always good to be competitive and everyone can improve,” he said. “If someone is not in form, then someone else can step up and perform, so it’s really good for the team.”
In terms of this weekend’s opposition, the Grecians face Forest Green this Saturday who have only conceded six and are top of the table. While it will be a difficult match, the midfielder said that the players are looking forward to the challenge.
“It will be a tough game. We are ready for this game. I think we need to play our football then we will be fine,” said Nigel.
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