Yet to Get Started

Thursday 1 January 2004

The recent game against Chelsea pretty much summed up the way that Sean Davis' season has panned out so far. Looking well up for the match against the team he supported as a boy, Davis started in scintillating form - in one particular move he appeared to bewitch the whole of the Chelsea team before turning them the wrong way and laying a beautiful ball into the path of an unmarked Moritz Volz. The move ultimately led to a Louis Saha header that only a fingertip save from Carlo Cudicini prevented the Whites from taking the lead,

But like much of what has gone before for Davis this year, his game was over before it had hardly started. A tight hamstring got progressively worse, and the England U21 international's influence waned accordingly until he had to come off after thirty minutes.

It's been a frustrating time for Davis, but he remains philosophical and also refreshingly honest about his performances so far this term. He sat down at Motspur Park this week to explain the nature of his injury and how things are going for him.

"My hamstring was tight on the Thursday and Friday before the match but it felt fine after I did some work on it," Davis said. "But it was tight after the first couple of minutes of the Chelsea match and it just kept on getting tighter. The medical team told me afterwards that if I had stayed on for longer I probably would have torn it, so it was a good decision to take me off. It was still very disappointing for me though.

"Hopefully I'll be back for the next game against Cheltenham. It was a big blow getting injured again; it just seems like I can't get going after having been out for so long. When you miss pre-season it's hard to get back into things and I don't think I've played to the best of my abilities so far this season.

"I don't think I've been winning enough tackles or getting stuck in enough, the touch isn't there at the moment. I didn't think that pre-season counted for a lot but obviously it does. That's the only reason I can think of that explains why I'm not as sharp as the other lads."

Obviously the team is playing in a different way from last season. Davis is a fan of the new formation but admits to not yet having fully settled into his new role.

"The team has been doing well and the new system is fantastic," he said. "But at the moment I'm not playing where I used to before, which was just in front of the back four. I've mostly been playing a bit further up the pitch so I'm receiving the ball in different positions. Obviously that takes time to get used to.

"Because the team is playing so well you have to keep your performances up wherever the Gaffer plays you. Lee Clark plays his role really well; he makes great runs and as a result gets the ball in good positions. I'm more used to sitting in front of the back four and getting the ball with the whole pitch to look at - now I'm getting the ball with my back to the rest of the pitch. But it's just a matter of getting used to the position; I'm not complaining - I'd play at right back or upfront as long as the Gaffer was picking me."

Injuries have hit the midfield hard in recent weeks with Sylvain Legwinski, Mark Pembridge as well as Davis all sidelined with various ailments. When everyone is fit the competition for places will be enormous; some players will miss out, but Davis welcomes the challenge of being part of a big squad all pushing each other on to greater things.

"I haven't played in my natural position yet this season," he said. "If I'm playing well I don't really need to worry about anybody else. I don't want to sound big-headed but I've always been confident in my own ability and if I'm playing well I'd like to think that I'd be able to hold down my place in the team.

"There is a lot of competition for places and I welcome that because it can only make you a better player."