After fighting back from a 12-month knee injury lay-off, Donervon Daniels talks to the Wigan Post about his long road back to football, and his hopes for the season ahead.
“The club has started the seasonfantastically.
Obviously the boys have done really well and bought into what the gaffer wanted to get across to them and you could see that in the first few league games and in the Cup game against Blackpool.
You could also see it in parts in the Cup game against Villa. The team has done really well and training has been at a really high intensity.
And we have the quality in the team.
“The gaffer has had loads of young lads around the training ground and on the training pitch, putting them in matchday squads and that’s really good for the club.
Some of the have really earned it and they’ve thrived from it. More lads are getting more minutes, like myself getting another 90 minutes in the tank, after being out for so long.
And with the likes of Callum Elder coming back from suspension,Tuesday night, apart from the result, was a positive for so many individuals for so many reasons.
I’ve been out for a really long time and I’ve had a few setbacks.
People probably haven’t known the ins and outs but I’ve needed two operations and I’ve had a horrible time dealing with it mentally.
I feel like it’s behind me now.
You have people like Reece James who’ve also had a similar process and he’s handled it really well and is in the starting team.
He’s done really well.
I feel like he’s been one of our stand-out players the past few weeks.
Mac (Shaun MacDonald)has his journey at the moment and he’s handling it well.
He’s getting his head down and he’s working.
“We have the new medical team and that helps as we have new ideas. It helps to push you and encourage you because it’s hard.
It’s a lonely place that physio room but it’s good. It’s been good to be around the boys again.
I’ve got my family and friends, and the boys – I have really good relationships with them. I’ve been with them for the past two and a bit years and that’s been helpful.
But at times you have to go through that journey yourself because no matter how many times people tell you that you’ll be fine you still question will you came back the same.
You have to have the faith and the work to be given to do. You just have to get through it and really,really push on.
“I feel like I’ve come back in a strong place.
Physically and mentally I’ve come back a better player from having my time out and really analysing my game.
I’ve been working on understanding how to assess my opponents and I feel like in the past two games, getting 90 minutes each game has been really good for me physically.
I feel like I’ve put in two solid performances.
Against Villa it was tough because they had a really experienced team out and we had a younger team than them, so for me it was organising and helping the younger lads which I really enjoyed.
“I’m hoping we get another promotion back to the Championship. For me I want to fight my way back into the starting XI.
The boys are doing ever so well and I’ve had conversations with the gaffer and he’s said about being patient and getting minutes.
I’m in the last year of my contract so it’s about football.
I need football and being out for as long as I’ve had it’s important I get football.”