SADDLERS’ striker, Febian Brandy, has expressed his delight after recovering from the hamstring injury that has kept him on the sidelines for the first few months of the season.
The 23 year-old made his first competitive start against Lincoln City on Tuesday and is buzzing to be back in action after a frustrating start to his Saddlers' career.
“I'm glad to finally be back playing after a slow start for me personally, but I feel that I am progressing well now,” said the summer signing. “Tuesday was my longest period in a side for over a year and I really enjoyed it.
"Now I've got to prepare right, push on and stay injury free in order to build on it."
It’s been a tough few years for the former Manchester United youngster who has suffered several injury set-backs, resulting in him making just 19 appearances over four different clubs since 2009.
And the likable Brandy confessed it has been a difficult three years, which saw him fall out of love with the game before receiving a wise phone call from ex-manager, Sir Alex Ferguson, prior to joining The Saddlers in the summer.
“I went off the rails at one stage because getting injured, whilst trying to get back playing, just got a little too much for me and I lost my love of the game.
“Sir Alex noticed I wasn't playing, phoned me and said I was capable of recovering and becoming the player he knew I could be.
"When a manager like Sir Alex takes the time to call you, it gives you the desire and confidence to prove him right and I feel hungry and ready to kick-on again.”
Brandy got 80 minutes under his belt in the FA Cup replay and admits it was a dark day for the squad after the defeat to David Holdsworth’s side, but believes the time is right for everyone involved to redeem themselves against League One high-flyers Crawley Town on Saturday.
“No disrespect to Lincoln, but we should be beating those type of teams,” he added. “With the bad run of form we've had, I think the pressure got to us.
“Crawley is going to be tough; they’re doing brilliantly which is expected with the development and finances they have. People won’t be expecting us to go there or to Tranmere on Tuesday and get a win, so we can definitely use that as a positive to get the result we want and hopefully return to winning ways again.”
After such a positive start to the season, Brandy is all but aware of the expectations The Saddlers have created and is adamant the squad are capable of getting back into winning ways.
“We've set high standards already; we’re going through a blip and it’s caught up with us really,” he added. “We have to put the results behind us because if we keep dwelling on them we’ll put ourselves in more trouble.
“I'm positive that we can live with the pressure and ambition from the fans, it’s what being a footballer is about.
“As soon as we get back to winning ways, I'm confident this team can push on further and deliver the brilliant form we had at the start of the season.”