Getting there - 11/03/2004

Getting there
The gaffer has a strong midfield

Iíve had a few fitness concerns recently and after spending a few days back in  full training, Iíve picked up another niggle. Itís something that Iíve not really had  to face in the past, Iím usually pretty fit and Iíve yet to have a serious injury. But  this is football and I hope to be back in training soon.

Just before the latest setback I was put on the club list for the UEFA Cup. Itís  good to know that after all this time it seems that I havenít been forgotten about.  You look around you and see players such as Brian Kerr and Stevie Brennan,  who not so long ago were tipped as Ďup and comingí, and recently Brad (Orr),  Stevie Taylor and Martin Brittain were sitting on the bench against Valerenga.

Itís a  frustrating time for those two and also for me. Iím under no illusions though, I  know that the squad without injury and suspension is very strong and the gaffer has to make tough decisions.

Iíve not had the opportunity to play and it does get me  frustrated. I look back on the Arsenal game two seasons ago when both me and  Clarence faced the likes of Viera and we came out on top. I got a lot of complements that night - from people within the game - and I also know that my  best football is still in front of me.

The thing is that itíll be played away from  St.James Park and that doesnít please me. My contract doesnít finish until June  of 2005 and with clubís policy on loan deals, it looks unlikely that Iíll play first team football until the August of 2005.

Some players such as Brad whoís been at  Burnley and Michael Chopra at Forest seem free to go out on loan, and some  donít. I canít tell you why the club wont let me leave; itíd save them money and itíd get me match fit. Itís not a case of losing cover, theyíd easily put in a  clause where I could return to the club if there were injuries. The club gave me a  good contract  in the summer of 2002 and Iíll honour it, but I want just want to play football and Iím  looking forward to the day that my name is on that team list Ė  wherever that will be.

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