Play­ing at Wem­b­ley was a tar­get dur­ing my long in­jury lay-off

Tot­ten­ham v Ever­ton

Sport360 - - Premier League - Yan­nick Bo­lasie

Hav­ing been out for over a year with a se­ri­ous knee in­jury, this week­end’s fix­ture against Tot­ten­ham at Wem­b­ley is one I’ve had my eye on for a long time. Words can’t ex­plain what it feels like to play foot­ball again af­ter such a lengthy pe­riod on the side­lines. Sim­ply talk­ing about it makes me smile.

I’ve now made four ap­pear­ances since I played my first game of the sea­son at West Bromwich Al­bion on Box­ing Day. I’m grate­ful to be able to com­pete for some min­utes be­cause when you come back from a long-term in­jury, it can take a while to get back into the team.

I have to thank the man­ager, Sam Al­lardyce, be­cause he has put a lot of con­fi­dence in me. I imag­ined, even three or four months ago, that I would have been eased back grad­u­ally, maybe from the bench and play­ing that role un­til I picked up the pace again.

I’ve en­joyed ev­ery game but with this in­jury you can’t ex­pect too much, too soon. I’ve been tak­ing it game by game to see where I’m at. I know that if I can get back to any­where near my pre­vi­ous level, I’ll be able to cre­ate lots of prob­lems for de­fences.

Hope­fully that will be the case against Spurs. I grew up near Wem­b­ley and from my mum’s house you can see the sta­dium’s iconic arch.

It had al­ways been a dream of mine to play there and I’ve been lucky enough to do that twice. I played there in the 2016 FA Cup semi-fi­nal for Crys­tal Palace against Wat­ford – when I scored – and then a few weeks later against

Manch­ester United in the fi­nal. I’ve had a win and a loss so hope­fully this will be an­other vic­tory.

The fans could also get their first glimpse of Cenk To­sun, who joined us from Be­sik­tas last week. Cenk has set­tled in well and looks like a great player who gets into the po­si­tions where you want your strik­ers to be. I’ve been watch­ing his clips to see how he gets his goals and I’ll be try­ing to link up with him when we are on the pitch to­gether.

We are into the New Year now and, thank­fully, we are start­ing to get some play­ers back from in­jury. The team is grow­ing in con­fi­dence too, es­pe­cially from that per­for­mance against Liver­pool in the FA Cup. Yes, we lost the game but I felt we played well and were un­lucky to lose. If we take that kind of per­for­mance into the Premier League games, I think we can be a prob­lem for ev­ery team we come up against in the sec­ond half of the sea­son.

No quit­ter: Conte says he will not re­sign, de­spite ru­moured dis­agree­ments with board.

Wel­come back: Yan­nick Bo­lasie re­turned to ac­tion on De­cem­ber 26.

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