WORDSWORTH IS BACK ON TRACK AF­TER BROKE­BACK SET­BACK...

Freak in­jury mars move to Ip­swich

The Football League Paper - - NEWS - By Jamie Holt

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.

Shock

“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.”

PIC­TURES: Ac­tion Im­ages

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

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