Tommy Spurr is enjoying being back amongst the first team.
After finally getting his chance in his favoured centre half position, starting in four of the first six games of the season, injury struck him down at the end of September, requiring an operation on his knee.
This meant almost four months out for the 30-year-old defender, finally returning to training and into the squad for the FA Cup tie at Sheffield United at the end of last month.
So reflecting on the season so far, the Leeds-born man certainly puts the 2017/18 campaign as one of the most frustrating of his career thus far.
“It definitely has been,” he told The One And Only at Springfields this week. “I had come back, worked hard over the summer in the off-season, and come back up to stake a claim. I got a chance at centre half and I was buzzing with that.
“I enjoyed the gaffer coming in and how he worked, so that season was great.
“I was feeling involved and a part of it.
“Then what happened to my knee was disappointing, but hopefully that is behind me now and I can look forward to getting back to where I was before.”
The team head now into the real run in, this is the final game of February and then we have a dozen games left and the former Sheffield Wednesday man believes the squad is improving with every game, just at the right time.
“You can see all over the pitch the improvement we have made from last year, and I think you can see that in the performances that we have put in.
“We have only lost six games all year.
“We already knew that we had that sort of character and that sort of fight within the group, but we have shown this year that we have added that extra bit. We just need to keep going and probably add a little bit more to get to where we want to go.
“You have to start believing and not just be content with finishing mid table. You have got to want to get somewhere and do something, which is what we are trying to do this year.
“There are a lot of younger lads that have been here a couple of years and now they are starting to show how good they are. Experienced lads like Greg, Clarkey [Tom Clarke] and Hunts have added their bits. Gally [Paul Gallagher] and Welshy [John Welsh] as well. It is a good mix.
“They are young in age, but not young in game time.
“They are not inexperienced, they are just young. They have got the games behind them. It is showing this year in that those lads are performing on a regular basis which is why we are right up there.
“We have gone a bit under the radar. Everyone thinks that the so-called bigger clubs would be up there. We just need to concentrate on us and do our own thing, and we know that within our group we have got more than enough.
“Let them do all the talking and we will just go and sort ourselves out on a Saturday and a Tuesday, which the lads have done all year.
“I am just glad that I can be a part of it again.”
And he knows that the team are now in a position they can strike from: “That is where it has got to in the season now, and all the lads have got us into that position.
“They have been brilliant all year. This is what you want. You want to be part of something. Hopefully we can carry it on for the last 15 games.
“You cannot control anyone else’s results, just your own. The lads have done it all year. Hopefully we can put a run together now and get ourselves in there.
“There is no one that has massively turned us over. We went to Villa Park last year and were 2-0 down. We fought back to 2-2 and should have won the game. We know that we can go to places and get results,” he added.
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