Addai determined to come back stronger after hamstring setback
Jon Palmer spoke to Alex Addai after the forward suffered a potentially season-ending hamstring injury
» Not good news after the scan, what’s the latest on your injury?
I have torn a bit of the tendon in the hamstring, so that’s going to be the longest part of the recovery period. My hamstring will hopefully be all right in the next four weeks, but the tendon takes a lot longer to heal. It normally takes 10 to 12 weeks to heal, so hopefully being a full-time athlete, it’s a bit shorter, but it looks like my season is kind of over.
» Did you fear it was going to be a serious one when you suffered it against Yeovil?
Initially, no. When Gav (Crowe, head of medical) came on and did the hamstring test, strength wise it was all right. But as I got up and started to walk I could tell it wasn’t right and I knew it was going to be a longer spell on the sidelines.
» You were on the receiving end of a bad challenge which led to a red card. Do you think that may have been when you got injured?
It happened firstly during that challenge, I think. I took a bit of a knock to the knee, my ankle and I felt a bit of a niggle. As the game has gone on, it was a bit painful and then when I did the backheel I completely felt it just before I made contact with the ball.
» You have a chance of being back before the end of the season, but you can’t take risks with hamstring injuries can you?
I have set myself a few goals. I haven’t scored a Football League goal yet so love to come back and score one. But at the end of the day, if it was a case when I haven’t been playing, or it was like it was at the start of the season, I think I’d have been more determined to come back quickly. But with me being a sprinter as well, I am more determined to heal the hamstring and see what happens to be honest.
» If you look back to this time one year ago, how pleased are you with what’s happened since then?
It’s crazy to be honest. I never would have expected to be here, I am grateful to be here and for the opportunity.
» You gave up a job to come into fulltime football. Are you confident you made the right decision?
It’s been a rocky road with ups and downs. I was completely out of the picture, then I had a chance and enjoyed a good run of form. It’s a good decision, I’ve learned a lot about myself and football. Hopefully I can continue to grow, develop and learn.
» Do you feel like your overall fitness levels were where they needed to be before the injury?
The spectators and anyone else at the games could see I was playing 20 minutes and doing a few things, but I’d get a bit tired and go hiding. Throughout the games I now see that I can be a constant threat.
» The manager has said there was a side of your game you needed to work on. How much do you feel you’ve progressed in that respect this season?
It’s been a massive learning curve and I’ve been learning the other side of the game. The gaffer has said that going forward is fine, but I needed to understand getting into a shape and we need to get the ball back for me to get on it so I can do what I do. I think it’s come on.
» It’s early days, but you only signed a one year contract. Has anything been spoken about?
We are not safe yet and it’s about the team first and foremost. When that is done and dusted, we’ll see what happens.
» What’s the one thing that’s been the big difference being at a League Two club compared with Merstham last season?
We used to train on a Tuesday night at 7.45pm. Sometimes the floodlights would be working and sometimes they wouldn’t. The facilities weren’t the best. You’d get changed in your car. It’s crazy and a massive difference. The professionalism throughout the team. Some lads there would have a beer after the game, nothing wrong with that of course, but it’s just not as professional.
» You had a run of good form in the team. Do you feel you’ve shown enough to prove you can do it at this level?
Yi’ve probably frustrated people at times and excited people at other times, but I’d like to think I have shown what I can do and with more learning and guidance I think I can be a real threat at this level.
» Are you determined to still be a positive influence around the place during your recovery from injury?
They are a good bunch of lads, who help me and motivate me every day. I see them out there and they ask me how the injury is and tell me to keep going. A lot of them are much more experienced than me. The likes of Varns, Hussey, Mulls, Toze, they help me, give me guidance. Nigel has been a big character for me and helped me. He’s had an unfortunate injury as well, so it’s just me and him in the gym and we are spurring each other one.