Daily Mirror


Wootton: Agony of Wembley KO has got me really fired up


STOCKPORT striker Kyle Wootton says missing out on a Wembley appearance has made him hungry to fire the club into League One this season.

Wootton, who scored 14 times last term, was on crutches following knee surgery when his team-mates suffered penalty shootout heartache against Carlisle in May’s play-off final.

Dave Challinor (circle, top) and his table-toppers have used that pain as fuel for their title bid this time around.

Goals from Wootton and Callum Camps condemned Matty Etheringto­n to defeat in his first game in charge of Colchester and made it 12 league wins in a row for County, a joint record for the fourth tier.

“It was hard mentally,” admitted Wootton, who claimed his sixth goal in three games (celebratin­g, right).

“I think people forget how tough it can be when you’re injured.

“It was frustratin­g because I knew I wouldn’t be able to play at Wembley if we did get there. I’ve used that to come back doing what I’m doing. I feel fitter than I’ve ever been.”

The Hatters are now six points clear of second-placed Mansfield, but Wootton stressed their feet are firmly on the ground in their quest to return to League One for the first time since 2010.

He added: “You could get comfortabl­e and complacent, but the gaffer doesn’t allow that.

“That’s credit to him and the staff because they’re always pushing us.

“To be fair to the lads we’re always pushing one another and we don’t expect to win.

“There is something building, absolutely. You can sense it, you can feel it with the fans and the club in general and they’re loving it.

“People forget there’s still a long way to go in the season. All we can do is keep winning games and ticking them off.

“If we can do that then hopefully we can start to really pull away.”

New Colchester boss Etheringto­n (circle, above) was not too downhearte­d despite the result.

“I’ve got to be honest, I’m liking what I’m seeing from the boys,” he said.

“Yes we can brush up in certain areas, but there’s a lot of good stuff going on. There’s a lot to build on, some real positives.”

 ?? ?? RISING STOCK Kyle Wootton has helped fuel County’s push for promotion
RISING STOCK Kyle Wootton has helped fuel County’s push for promotion
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