The old man of the squad, Coventry City's Clive Platt, who turns 34 next month, is back, fully fit, training and eager to get a start in his first game of the season.
Platt had a back injury that kept him out of action for the last few games of last season, but after recovering from that, he injured his thigh during the summer pre-season training and no sooner had he recovered from that he did the other side of his back and found himself back at square one again.
Despite being the 'old man' of the squad, Platt claims he doesn't feel old, just experienced and he believes his experience is what is lacking in the very youthful Coventry City side of the moment.
Platt, talking to the CT, joked, “People keep telling me I am getting old. I’m 34 next month and the young lads we have in the team were only one when I started out playing.”
Platt played for the first time this season when he was used as a second half substitute in the 1-1 draw with Reading last Saturday.He continued, “It is up to players like myself to help and guide the young lads because it is little things like that that can make all the difference and help turn these draws into wins. It has been a long and frustrating time for me.
"I had a back injury at the end of last season and ended up having injections. I was supposed to relax and then come back and get fit, which I did, but I picked up a thigh injury in pre-season and just as I was getting over that I tweaked the other side of my back and had to go through the whole thing of injections and rest again and before I knew it pre-season was over and I hadn’t played any minutes.
“The coaching staff have worked hard to get me fit. They got me doing extra training and a mini pre-season with the likes of Gary Deegan as well and I feel fit now and have been dying to get a game.
“So it is nice to be involved again and in and around the dressing room with the lads and hopefully I can stay fit now and play a part this season.”
The City boss Andy Thorn is delighted to have his experienced centre forward back, but was equally keen to point out that Platt's selection will not mean a return to the long ball game much despised by most City fans.
Thorn insisted, “It’s good to have him back because it gives us other options but that doesn’t mean route one,”
It was Platt's good work that led to the penalty that Jutkiewicz unfortunately blazed over, but he also had a good chance to score himself late on in the game and is annoyed with himself for not scoring.
He said, “I had a decent chance fall to me and when I hit it I watched it go towards the bottom corner and I saw the keeper dive down and I was hoping it would be one of those that goes under his hands, but I felt good.
"I am still lacking a bit of timing because when crosses were coming in I should have been on the move more and I wasn’t winning as many headers because I was getting caught underneath, just little things that you miss when you are not playing.
“It would have been nice to get the winner but there will be plenty of time for that this season.”
Platt has now set himself two targets, to get more playing time and to stay fit for the rest of the season.
He explained, “Every player in the squad wants to be starting and probably thinks they should be starting and the more headaches you give the manager the better because he wants competition and players need it as well.”
“If there are just two playing up front there is a danger of becoming complacent. I’d obviously like to start but if not hopefully I can come on and do well, but the main thing is getting Coventry up the league.”
Despite being instrumental in winning the penalty last Saturday, Platt, like the rest of the team, is supportive of Jutkiewicz after his miss and he said, “He had his head in his lap afterwards. He was devastated but the lads will get round him. It takes a big man to step up there in the first place.
"He normally places them and I’ve seen him score lots of penalties in training. He’s got a great left foot on him so I think it was just a freak one on Saturday and I am sure he will be stepping up for the next one and I am sure he will put it away.
“Hopefully he’ll score against Blackpool and it will all be forgotten about then. The important thing is we didn’t lose and it is one defeat in five which shows there is some stability there and that we are starting to turn the corner.”