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I needed yesterday's game - 04/10/2004

I needed yesterday's game
Aaron slotted in comfortably against Sachnin
   Aaron Hughes
   Ronnie Johnsen
   West Bromwich Albion
   Birmingham City

The sickness bug I picked before the Sachnin game was pretty grim. I could hardly walk on the day before the game and the fastest I'd moved all day was when I ran up the tunnel to find the nearest toilette!! I woke on the Thursday morning feeling a little better...and then had a brief run out in temperatures approaching 100 degrees. To be honest, I'd have played if selected but I was better off on the bench.

After playing well against West Brom it was disappointing to think that I'd be losing my place due to illness. Aaron came in and never looked out of place as we ran out comfortable winners in the 5-1 victory in Israel.

This season the team is picked in advance of the match day so it was a relief to find that I'd been recalled for yesterday's game against Birmingham. To be honest I needed that game to get rid of the bug. I know that might sound a bit funny, but I felt better for sweating it out of my system. It obviously affected my performance but with a few days off and a break before our trip to Charlton, I should feel much better for the next game.

I know that Aaron will want to play and that Ronny Johnsen hasn't come over here to sit on the bench, but if I can pick up from where I left off at West Brom I'll be happy. It was great to be given the man of the match award and with captaining the side in the first leg against Sachnin, I've had a great start to the season. The challenge now is simply to keep things going!

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