Aberdeen V Kilmarnock at Pittodrie Stadium : Match Preview

19 December 2014 06:01
Aberdeen V Kilmarnock - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game live.

Chantler keen to make up lost time

Chris Chantler says he is determined to make up for lost time by shining brightly for Kilmarnock after a nightmare injury left him looking like a burns victim.

The Manchester-born midfielder missed 10 months of action after snapping ankle ligaments while playing for former club Carlisle.

The initial injury should have kept him out for a matter of weeks but an allergic reaction and complications with infection eventually ruled him out for the best part of a year.

The 24-year-old has since had his ankle pinned back together and now, and after making 18 appearances for Killie so far, wants to start rebuilding his career.

Chantler told Press Association Sport: "I had nine or 10 months out after ankle surgery - that was probably the worst time of my life. Not just my football career but my life.

"It just affects everything and I got really down. Even when I got back I was not the same because everything was a little bit different and it took me three of four months to get back to any sort of footballing level.

"I ended up having three operations in total but there were infection problems too. The first op was to correct the ligaments but when I got the cast removed, all my skin had ripped off.

"There was a three-inch gash where the surgery was. I looked looked like a burns victim. There was no skin on it at all.

"I'd had an allergic reaction to something when the cast was on. I remember telling the physios at Carlisle that every time I was moving, I was sore. Basically what was happening was that every time I moved, bits of skin were getting ripped off.

"The scar got infected a couple of times too, which put me back as well.

"It's all right now. It doesn't look the prettiest - it's as if a shark had a little bite at it. But it's fine now and not causing me any issues. I'm just so glad to be back getting a run of games.

"I just want to make up for lost time and do well for Kilmarnock."

Chantler received his footballing education at Manchester City.

He signed for the club as a nine-year-old when it was still battling against Premier League mediocrity. By the time had left in search of first-team action, Sheikh Mansour's billions had transformed City into the richest club in the world.

"The year I left City was the year they won the title for the first time, so all the big-hitters like Sergio Augero, David Silva and Mario Balotelli were there," said Chantler.

"It was a crazy time. I didn't really get to play with the first-team that much but training with them and being around the training ground with them was special.

"There were a lot of big personalities and incredible footballers in that side so getting to learn off them was a privilege."

Kilmarnock boss Allan Johnston has confirmed midfielder Sammy Clingan will be out for as long as five weeks - starting with Saturday's trip to Aberdeen.

The Northern Ireland international injured his hamstring against St Johnstone last weekend but will now sit out the rest of the year's action.

Striker Michael Ngoo remains unavailable after ankle surgery while Johnston admits he still has concerns over "two or three" unnamed players.

Aberdeen striker David Goodwillie is enjoying his double act with Adam Rooney - but just wishes he was not the Irishman's understudy on the scoring charts.

While former Inverness striker Rooney has bagged 17 goals in 23 games so far, Goodwillie has managed just three goals.

He told RedTV: "I'm delighted with the way we fit together. It's been good. We feed off each other quite well Hopefully he will give me a few goals though - share them about with me.

"There are no hard feelings, I'm only joking.

"We are working well together and that can only be a good thing for the team."

While Rooney is out in front when it comes to finding the net, Pittodrie boss Derek McInnes has opted to use Goodwillie as his lone striker while shunting his other frontman out to the left of a five-man midfield.

Former Scotland striker Goodwillie is enjoying the challenge and hopes to break his eight-game scoring duck against Kilmarnock.

"I've been playing really well for the team in a different position. I'm still adapting to it but hopefully the goals will come.

"The manager has changed his formation and wants his best players on the pitch at all times. I'm just thankful I'm one of them. I'm enjoying the new role.

"I've had a few chances but need to start putting them away. That's up to me, though."

Barry Robson could make his Aberdeen return after a hip injury. However, a calf strain makes Cammy Smith a doubt while Willo Flood, Nicky Low, Clark Robertson, Russell Anderson and Craig Storie remain sidelined.

Source: PA