Turner eyeing start of season comeback

07 July 2011 08:26
Nine month layoff misery nearly over Coventry City's influential defender Ben Turner is hoping to be fully fit and ready for the start of the coming season. The 22 year old was a revelation at the start of last season with his dominating performances, not only in the centre of defence, but in attack as well when he was briefly the joint leading goal scorer at the club. He was an automatic first choice on the team sheet until his injury deprived the side of his presence and it was a presence that was sorely missed. Turner suffered a knee ligament injury in November which eventually led to him missing the rest of the season and he had an operation in March in an attempt to repair the damaged knee. The squad has moved on and developed since Turner had to drop out and there are now six defenders jockeying for just two places in the centre of defence and so Turner will have to prove not only his fitness, but his determination and talent as well if he is to regain that automatic starting place in the side. Turner has said he wants to be fit and ready for the season opener against fierce local rivals Leicester City at The Ricoh in August. He said, “I am ready to join back in with the lads. I have just got a few more check points to do with the physio. I had the op in March and I am on schedule and fingers crossed I am just a couple of weeks from doing everything." “I haven’t thought too far ahead because I just want to get through the next few weeks. I have been doing a lot of training on my own and then I will join in with some of the friendly games but I definitely want to be fit for the start of the season." “I don’t want to let it drag on where it is deemed that I am a few games away because if someone else has got your jersey for the first game then it can be hard to get in, so I want to be at least competing for the jersey for the first game. So there’s a lot of hard work to do.” Turner starts the coming season under a new manager and Andy Turner has the option of picking Richard Keogh and Martin Cranie, who were his preferred choice last term. To add to the problem Turner faces in reclaiming his place, James McPake, who is now recovered from the broken bone in his back, Richard Wood and Nathan Cameron are all vying for that elusive starting berth. Turner continued, “I was playing from the start last year so at the time I was well chuffed, but it is a different manager and I have got to prove myself all over again, so hopefully I can do that.” “We have got more centre-backs than anything else and if you name them, none of them are young lads who want to sit around and wait for their chance, and that’s why it is important to have a good pre-season and why I have got to do as much as I can to be in the shake-up for the first game.” Turner says there is a strong bond among the defensive midfielders, particularly between himself and James McPake as both have gone through serious injuries over the last few months. They are sharing a room at the Portuguese training camp this week. “I think there is a good union there between the defenders and goalies, and we all feel we are in it together. Everyone has got their selfish side because we all know it’s a short career and everyone wants to play," said Turner. “All the lads who are here are good, honest lads and no-one gets funny with each other and we all push each other on. The gaffer knows about everyone and he’s got a lot of choice there and hopefully he won’t bring any more centre-backs in and will leave the six of us to fight for our places.”