The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE ONE - By Nick Lough

STRIKER Adam Mar­riott be­lieves his re­turn from in­jury has come at an op­por­tune mo­ment to work his way back into a goal-shy Steve­nage side.

He had spent more than nine months on the side­lines wait­ing for his chance to help sal­vage the Hert­ford­shire club’s sea­son.

The 24-year-old striker, who was signed in 2014 af­ter hit­ting an as­ton­ish­ing 45 goals in 42 games for South­ern Premier League side Cam­bridge City, has only this month re­turned to the start­ing XI af­ter strug­gling with a se­ri­ous knee in­jury.

Af­ter im­press­ing fans with his bursts of en­ergy off the bench, Mar­riott is hop­ing to nail down a start­ing spot in Dar­ren Sarll’s team – and to bag the goals they need to ward off rel­e­ga­tion.

“I’m buzzing to be back. I’ve been in­volved in first­team train­ing for the last four or five weeks and ev­ery week I feel I’m get­ting sharper,” Mar­riott told The FLP.

“I wouldn’t say I’m quite 100 per cent yet, but I’m in the thick of it and, af­ter get­ting a few re­serve games un­der my belt, I feel I can do a job.

“There are 12 games left and I hope to be in­volved in as many of them as I can. I know I haven’t scored any goals for a while, but I have con­fi­dence in my abil­ity.”

Com­ing un­der the tute­lage of one of the Premier League’s great­est ever for­wards in Teddy Sher­ing­ham was an ex­pe­ri­ence Mar­riott was largely de­nied due to his in­jury and Sher­ing­ham’s dis­missal.

“When Teddy was an­nounced as boss, I was thrilled as I thought it would be a great op­por­tu­nity for me to work with one of the best Eng­land’s had,” he said.

“I knew I would be out for a while once he got the job, and that turned out to be a bit longer than I wanted it to be.

“I made one sub­sti­tute ap­pear­ance un­der him, but I would watch him in train­ing from the side­lines.”

Given Steve­nage’s dis­ap­point­ing cam­paign, fol­low­ing last sea­son’s pro­mo­tion tilt, the ex-Nor­wich City trainee high­lights the rea­sons why they’ve failed to make the grade this year.

“There have been a num­ber of key play­ers miss­ing for us, com­bined with the fact that we didn’t start the best,” he said.

“We’re thank­ful the fans are still be­hind us, but we re­ally need to string a few wins to to­gether and fin­ish the sea­son on a high be­fore look­ing to build for a more suc­cess­ful sea­son next year.”

PIC­TURES: Steve­nage Comet

BACK: Boro striker Adam Mar­riott

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