Sam Allardyce has talked today about Damien Duff, almost the forgotten man at St. James Park since he broke his foot in last April’s 2-1 defeat at Portsmouth.
Sam has revealed Damienâ€™s injury was severe enough to have threatened his career.
Even before suffering his long term foot injury Duff had not looked the player he was at Chelsea and Blackburn since his Â£5M acquisition from Chelsea.
Damien Duff - injured since April with career threatening broken foot
But the Republic of Ireland international has November 3rd down as his official return date to full training which is a short 3 weeks ago and he may start some light training before that.
Sam is obviously looking forward to working with a player he regards as one of the finest wingers in the Premier League and we feel confident that Sam, like he has with so many players in the past, can get the best out of him.
Sam talked to the Northern Echo today about Damien:
“Damien has been working extremely hard, but the injury he had was a career-threatening one,” “It was a really nasty injury and a very serious one.â€
“It has been a long and difficult recovery for him, but he is desperate to get back.â€ “He had a frustrating time last season with injury even before he broke his foot, and he wants to show people the real Damien Duff.â€
“There are not many better wide players in the Premier League than Damien and it’s up to us to get him back to the level he was at a couple of years ago.â€
“If Damien Duff is playing to his full potential, he would be an asset to any club in the Premier League.â€
“He was a wonderful player at Blackburn and Chelsea, and he wants to show people what he is capable of at Newcastle.”
He is expected to join in group training within the next two weeks but, given the seriousness of his foot injury, a first-team return may not come until nearer the end of the year. However, on the bright side, Duff certainly has creativity and will be alike a new player to Big Sam. Samâ€™s attitude is so positive that he expects he can get the very best out of each player.
Thereâ€™s an old adage in business that is so true â€“ you get what you expect out of people. Sam thinks he can handle whatever each players problem is once he gets to know it and he helps to solve any personal issues going on. Once that is achieved the player can concentrate on his football and start to enjoy it â€“ and then players usually start playing at their peak. That seems to be Samâ€™s way and he certainly has a great record on getting the very best out of his players, thatâ€™s for sure.
Sam went on:
“We couldn’t have asked any more from him in terms of the work he has put in during his rehabilitation,” “But, having worked so hard for so long to make sure he can play football again, we don’t want to waste all that good work by rushing him into things too quickly.â€
“We hope that Damien will be able to join in with group training later this month, but in terms of him playing competitive football in the Premier League, we’re going to have to be patient. It might not be until the end of the year.â€
“We know Damien will add something to our side when he is available, but we have to make sure he is fit enough to do that.”
Just think what Duff must be feeling, reading what Sam has said about him today. It will give the Irishman a lift and let him know he still has a career on Tyneside. Damien’s certainly seems to have had a tough time coming back from the dreadful injury. We think Sam can and will get the very best out of Damien – and we cannot wait until we see him performing his magic again on either Newcastle wing. It will be like having a new player in the team.