'I want to help the team and help get us promoted' - Downes on his return to fitness after knee injury
- Credit: Picture: Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com
Flynn Downes is hopeful of being back to his dynamic best in the coming weeks as he continues his return from injury.
The midfielder, who requested a transfer last summer following interest from Crystal Palace, suffered a knee injury at MK Dons in October which kept him sidelined until the middle of January.
But he’s now started Ipswich’s last three games, looking visibly stronger in each, and is hopeful of being back at full speed in the near future.
"It felt so good to be back," he said. “It’s been three months or so and I’ve missed playing so much.
“It was a new experience for me because it’s the first long-term injury that I have had. To be honest it was tough, but I got through it and couldn’t wait to get back out there.
“It would have been nicer with fans, but I’ll take it because I’m just grateful to be playing football again. Any injuries with knees you have to be really careful, so I’m glad that I wasn’t rushed back. I’m feeling good now, but I was blowing after 45 minutes after Swindon.
“I guess that’s to be expected with that long on the sidelines. My style is to get up and down the pitch, so it could take a few games to get that back to where I want it to be.
“I just want to play as many games as I can and help the team. I want to help us get promoted, it’s as simple as that. I’d like to get some goals as well, and do my bit to help push us up the table.”
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Downes knew the injury suffered in Milton Keynes, which came just minutes after his introduction as a substitute, was going to be a serious one.
"As soon as it happened I thought to myself ‘this isn’t good’,” he continued, in an interview with Town’s club programme. “I tried to stand up and I was wobbly so I realised straight away that it could be a bad one.
“But the physios have been really good with me. They’ve helped in so many ways and now I just need to get up to speed again in terms of match sharpness and then hopefully I’ll be firing from all cylinders.
“You know it’s one of those things where you don’t realise how much you love football until you physically can’t play anymore. I just love being out there so much, and touch wood I won’t be having any trouble with injuries going forward.”
Downes has shown throughout his senior career that he’s willing to throw himself into challenge and had a steel which has been missing from the Ipswich midfield for long spells this season.
“It’s about finding that balance,” the 22-year-old said. “Both teams want to win and there are passionate players out there, so sometimes things get heated.
It’s part of my game to be awkward on the field and now I just want to help the team get wins. That’s how simple it is, we need wins.
“We’re at a big point in the season now and we need to make the most of the lads coming back, and the new players of course.”