WORDSWORTH IS BACK ON TRACK AFTER BROKEBACK SETBACK...
Freak injury mars move to Ipswich
ANTHONY Wordsworth waited 12 months to get a move from League One to the Championship with Ipswich – but after just half an hour of his first start for the Tractor Boys, he BROKE HIS BACK.
The former Colchester captain broke three vertebrae at home to Blackpool in February.
But he fought his way back after just two months, scored on his first game back and now reckons that Ipswich will be pushing for promotion to the Premier League next season.
Paul Jewell first made an inquiry for Wordsworth when he was Ipswich boss back in January 2012, but nothing came of it.
However, when Mick McCarthy made another inquiry a year later, the midfielder made a quick dash up the A12 while suspended with the U’s to show his commitment to the cause – and even left his boots behind at Ipswich’s Playford Road training complex to show where he wanted to play next.
Despite some snags Wordsworth, 24, eventually signed a £200,000 deal just one day before the transfer window closed last January. Now that his injury is behind him, and he is back for the final four league games of the season, he says the whole ordeal has been worthwhile.
“It’s about time I made the step up. I spent a few seasons at Colchester and it’s good to be finally playing at this level,” said Wordsworth, whose contract at Colchester was due to run out in the summer.
“It was so disappointing though to break my back on my first start. It was my first real injury of my career as well and it couldn’t have come at a worse time. I felt like I had got off to a good start in the few games I’d started from the bench, but it really set me back. They said I’d be out anywhere between eight weeks and threeand-a-half months.
“But I was actually back in training within four weeks so I can’t credit the staff at Ipswich enough.
“Initially I didn’t think I did anything. It wasn’t too bad so I tried carrying on for a couple of min- utes and when they said I had broken my back it was a real shock. It was such a blow, the last thing I wanted was to get injured just as I had joined the club, but fortunately I’ve come back and scored in my first game back against Hull.
“It wasn’t like I didn’t know anyone when I arrived. They contacted Colchester so I came along for a day so I could meet the boss and the players.
“It was a bit up and down because it was getting towards the end of January and a deal still hadn’t been agreed between the clubs, but I wanted to get it done so I just left my boots at the training ground as a show of dedication that I wanted to come back.”
Wordsworth spent seven years with East Anglian rivals Colchester. But now with McCarthy in charge at Portman Road, he believes he could be on the fast track to the Premier League.
“I could have waited until the summer, but when a club like Ipswich are interested and a manager like Mick McCarthy you have to take notice,” added Wordsworth.
“It’s a massive club, and under Mick it’s only going to go in one direction. If you look at our form since he took over we have been a top-four side.
“I’d like to think we’d be in the running for the play-offs as a bare minimum next season, hopefully we’ll be looking to do better than that.
“If the boss is allowed to make some signings and do what he wants I think automatic promotion is a possibility.”
TOP GEAR: Tractor Boy Anthony Wordsworth scores against Hull in his first game back
BACK TO THE FRONT LINE: Far left: Anthony Wordsworth scores against Hull on his comeback. Left: Wordsworth goes off, not realising that his back is broken