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Cherries: Partington wants his place back
Published : 10 Mar 2010 07:00:00
JOE Partington has probably reached enough turning points to make him dizzy. The versatile teenager has endured a stop-start season after being plagued by groin and back problems. Much was anticipated of the talented youngster after he was rewarded for his progress with a two-year contract last summer. But despite featuring in the first five league games of the campaign, Partington then spent a frustrating 15 weeks on the sidelines nursing sore groins. A fruitful festive period saw the 19-year-old enjoy his longest run in the side with successive starts against Cheltenham, Torquay and Northampton suggesting a change of luck. But the light at the end of the tunnel was shut out when Partington felt his back following a reserve outing at Exeter in mid-January. Although Partington has stopped touching wood just in case he gets splinters, he hopes his injury problems are now finally and firmly behind him. He hit the comeback trail when he was given a gruelling 90-minute run-out during the reserves' 1-1 draw at Forest Green Rovers on Monday. It was good to get back on track, said the Portsmouth-born Wales under-21 international. I felt fine and thought I did okay. It wasn't easy at times but we tried to play and tried to do the right things. I was hoping to be more involved with the first team this season but the injuries have held me back. Maybe I could have done better when I played as well. I just want to work hard, get my head down and try to get my place back. I had a little run of games just after Christmas and it was great to be involved. I felt I was getting a bit more comfortable in the side and then injury struck again and I lost my place. It's tough on the sidelines and there were times when I was fed up. You've got to try to keep your head up but it can be difficult. We are having a good season and I have been involved in a few wins. When you are injured though, you almost don't feel a part of it. You watch the lads and just want to be involved. I'm not the only one though and a few of the lads have been injured this season. It's frustrating because there have been places up for grabs and I wasn't fit to fill them. People have been playing out of position and the team has done fantastically well. Now I'm back, I will try my best and work my hardest to help in any way I can. Everyone is going to have a big part to play. This is an important time and everybody is looking forward to the challenge. We all believe we can do it.