Deeney: “I'm Ready For When The Gaffer Thinks It's Right”
By Kevin Affleck
Quique Sánchez Flores conceded it was asking a lot of Troy Deeney to perform one of his herculean performances so early in his comeback when he charged onto the field against Burnley.
The captain has played no part in the last 13 games following surgery to his right knee, but he was summoned from the bench 11 minutes after half-time against Burnley. The Head Coach turned to his leader three minutes after Chris Wood scored as he needed a route back into a key match that was starting to slip away.
“Deeney wasn't lucky today,” said Sánchez Flores. “We had the idea to put him on in the first ten minutes [of the second half] but in six minutes we had conceded a goal. It's not the same to go on when it's 0-0. It's not helping the situation for Deeney. He is trying but he is still far from a good performance [because has been out for so long].”
The 31-year-old striker has worked his socks off to get back slightly ahead of schedule, turning in punishing sessions in the gym and often another session when he gets home with his own personal trainer. Now the target is to regain his match sharpness.
“I'm in a good spot,” he said in his programme notes. “Two more solid weeks of work in the bank; extra training, strength work and a part in a game with the 23s. You can put yourselves in specific positions when you are working with the physio guys, but I've been able to tick off a lot of mental boxes recently because I've been in for challenges without a comfortable body shape, going for loose balls, that sort of stuff. The only thing left is game minutes which has to be on the job, there's no way round that. There's no more preparation you can do.
“I said I'm in a good spot, and I I think that's down to being able to talk a lot of things through. At the start of the rehab my knee was clicking a little bit, but a bit of reassurance here and there lets you realise that you can trust the process and get on with your work. I'm ready for when the gaffer thinks it's right I can help the team.”