Danny determind to play

DANNY Haynes is not going to let a little thing like a knee injury stop him living his dream.Haynes, who will be 18 next Monday, is like a kid still unwrapping a fantastic present and hopes to keep his starting place at Stoke today.

By Derek Davis

DANNY Haynes is not going to let a little thing like a knee injury stop him living his dream.

Haynes, who will be 18 next Monday, is like a kid still unwrapping a fantastic present and hopes to keep his starting place at Stoke today.

While Haynes accepts he is in the first-team far earlier than he might have been, he is looking to seize the day and continue to enjoy every second.


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Haynes has brought a terrific freshness and enthusiasm to the team and his pace and strength have caused problems but the academy star clearly fades as the game wears on.

He finished the 1-0 win over Luton tired, and struggling with a slight knee injury, and still looking to add to his first senior goal for the club which earned a draw against QPR.

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Haynes said: “I came so close to scoring today but I will get there.

“There is a slight problem but it is a great experience for me just being in the squad so, hopefully, the injury is not too bad and I will be involved at Stoke.

“I didn't manage to start against Hull but I was totally enthusiastic about being involved and then got on quite early. On Saturday I started and it was amazing to get my chance.”

Haynes may find himself as the lone striker at the Britannia Stadium as injuries once more bite deep but, with typical youthful confidence, believes Town can get something from the game.

He said: “We can go to Stoke and surprise a few people. With the quality players we still have and the ability that is in the team we can go there and pick up a good result. We need to go there and play without fear and get a point or three.”

Haynes, who was released by Charlton before joining the Blues' Academy, was part of the successful FA Youth Cup-winning side and has made incredible strikes since making his first-team debut at Leeds in September.

The Londoner refuses to be distracted by off-field events and focuses totally on being positive for Town, helped by superb support. He said: “When you have the love of this sport, then it feels great to be starting in the first team. Everyone wants to be playing in the first-team and it is my dream as well, so I'm loving it.

“None of the other stuff bothers me it is all about helping the team, progressing your career and enjoying every minute of your football.

“The crowd have been amazing, I can feel the crowd behind us and everywhere we go the supporters have been brilliant. They really got behind us against Luton and were excellent.”

Haynes will take a fitness test this morning but is expected to be fit to play.

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