Cookie's comeback trail

Tuesday 30 April 2002

With another home reserve game coming up on Wednesday, against Northampton, Chris Coleman gets another opportunity to chalk up another milestone on his comeback trail. The Welsh international, obviously delighted with his progress so far, spoke at the training ground this week about how things were going.

"We played against Wimbledon last-week and we won three-two," he said, "The conditions were quite difficult, the pitch was very hard - probably the worst I've ever played on. But I had 45 minutes, and I came off at half time as a precaution more than anything else.

"But everything's going very well and I thoroughly enjoyed it. The lads in the reserves have been fantastic with me, and Steve Keen, the manager, has looked after me very well. But really it's just nice to get another game under my belt.

"We knew there was a chance that I might have to cut the game short because of the conditions, but it was another game played, and now I've got two more reserve games left and I'll be looking to play in them.

"I really am very pleased with the way it's gone. Hopefully now I can get a really good pre-season under my belt, I'll probably be working all through the summer keeping my fitness levels up, and I'll give myself the best possible chance of being ready for the start of the season.

"There will always be certain limitations on what I will be able to do in the future, but we always knew that was going to be the case. It's still a case of taking it one step at a time and sometimes it gets a bit sore and I have to ease off, but, touch wood, I've been able to train every day and I haven't missed any reserve games since I came back.

"I've had a few knocks on the leg, but I'm predominantly left footed anyway, I tackle, pass the ball with my left, so even before the accident I never did use the right all that much!

"The target is still first-team football. I always said I would need ten or twelve reserve games before I would know whether I was going to make it, and I've only had five or six so far. It's unfortunate that there are only two more games before the season finishes. But if I can get a good pre-season under my belt then I'll be looking for a first-team spot."

Fulham reserves take on Northampton Town on Wednesday 1st May at Motspur Park, kick-off 2.00pm. Entry is free.