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McGreal ready to return against Wolves

PUBLISHED: 07:00 18 February 2003 | UPDATED: 16:18 24 February 2010

IT has been a long hard slog but John McGreal is ready to reap the rewards after his battle back to fitness by starting against Wolves tomorrow, writes Derek Davis.

IT has been a long hard slog but John McGreal is ready to reap the rewards after his battle back to fitness by starting against Wolves tomorrow, writes Derek Davis.

McGreal takes his place in defence for the Nationwide Division One clash with FA Cup quarter-finalist Wanderers after damaging knee ligaments at Brighton on December 10.

It was initially hoped McGreal would only miss six weeks' action but he was told to take it steady after a brief period when he hit a wall during his recovery.

He said: "It has been a long time, 10 weeks today, not that I have been counting the days.

"I thought I would be back sooner and it has been a long hard road back but now I'm ready and looking forward to playing.

"It did help that the lads were doing so well, one league defeat in the nine games I missed was excellent and it also meant I didn't have to rush back – there probably wouldn't have been a place for me so it gave me an extra couple of weeks to come back.

"I was getting impatient and that was nearly my own undoing. The physios have been brilliant and have held me back to ensure that I recovered fully.

"I was my own worst enemy in trying to get back but now the hard work has been worthwhile and I'm ready to reap the rewards."

The 30-year-old former Tranmere centre-half scored in the reserves' 3-0 win over Arsenal last Wednesday and has now been give the green light to step up to first-team action.

He said: "That reserve game gave me a lot of confidence, the knee held out well, now it is just a case of getting the fitness. Playing a young Arsenal side was a good test. They were keen to impress and were quick and lively up front so it was a good game to play in."

McGreal was in the crowd when Town fought back to beat Sheffield United, roared on by an impassioned Blues' crowd.

He said: "The lads were brilliant against Sheffield United and the crowd were absolutely superb.

"The referee helped get everyone going with the decisions he made but it was an incredible noise.

"It was probably the best I have heard since the Bolton game in the play-off semi-finals and it really helped them.

"We could do with more of the same tomorrow. It will be a difficult game. I watched Wolves win against Rochdale and thought, especially first half, they looked a very good side.

"Their class and fitness showed in the end and we an expect a difficult game."


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