Mantom on his return to action...THERE was a welcome return to action for Sam Mantom at the weekend as he made his first start of the season.
The popular midfield man has been troubled by a knee problem since the summer and had previously mustered just a handful of substitute appearances this term, the last of which came back in November.
"I was absolutely buzzing when I found out that I would be starting the game," said last year's Player of the Season. "It was a bit surreal to be back out there, to be honest, but it's fantastic to be part of it again, running around and competing.
"The knee feels brilliant, I've just got to get myself ready to go again for the visit of Sheffield United on Tuesday evening.
"Looking back, it's been a real slog and some of the toughest times of my life, but I am determined to put that behind me now and look towards ending the season strongly.
"This is the biggest injury I've had in my career; I only missed three games, all through suspension, last season, so it's been frustrating. I can only thank Jon Whitney and the staff here for getting me through it and back to fitness.
"It's great to be part of it again and involved in a massive week for the club. Against MK Dons on Saturday it was a proper game of football. They have got a strong squad but we could have won it near the end.
"We seem to have a good record against the top teams; I'm not sure why that is, but on Saturday it was two teams trying to play and it was a good game to be involved in.
"We'll be looking to take the positives from our last performance into Tuesday's game. Sheffield United are another side who are up there, but a win will give us some momentum to take into Sunday's game at Wembley.
"We know that it will be a battle on Tuesday. It will be a case of us battling hard, winning those second balls and taking the game to them.
"If we play to our capabilities, we can beat anyone at this level."