Blackpool defender addresses the rumours surrounding striker's absence
James Husband has shot down conspiracy rumours surrounding the lengthy absence of his Blackpool teammate Gary Madine.
The striker made his long-awaited return last Sunday, coming off the bench in the 84th minute of their final day victory against Bristol Rovers.
It was Madine’s first appearance for the Seasiders in almost four months, having been kept out of action with a niggling groin injury since the end of January.
The 30-year-old, who initially took injections to try and play through the pain, suffered a number of setbacks in his recovery.
However, because of the length of Madine’s absence, that sparked rumours the former Bolton Wanderers and Sheffield Wednesday man had either fallen out with Neil Critchley or there was an issue relating to his contract, which is due to expire at the end of the season.
Husband slapped down those conspiracies and revealed his teammate was as frustrated as anyone to be sidelined for so long.
“It’s massive to get some of these players back because every man in the squad is vital for the next few games,” the defender told The Gazette.
“It gives you a lift when you see Gary come on the pitch. He’s worked ever so hard to get back fit.
“I know there were some things flying around, which I can categorically tell you are wrong.
“He’s worked his socks off to get back, as has Keshi (Anderson) because he had a long, hard recovery (after undergoing surgery on a hamstring injury).
“He’s been through Ramadan as well during the last few weeks, which people might not know, so he’s put some serious graft in. Fair play to him. It says everything about the boy.
“We can trust every single man in this squad to do a job and I’m proud to say I’m part of this team to be honest, it’s a very good football team.
“You take one out and you put someone in, there’s not much difference and we’ve proven that all season because we’ve had a lot of injuries and a lot of players have had to step up, but they’ve slotted in seamlessly.”
Husband also reserved special praise for head coach Critchley, who has led the Seasiders to a play-off position at the end of his first full season in charge.
Pool take on Oxford United in the first leg of their semi-final on Tuesday night after ending the season on 80 points, finishing in third place.
“It’s huge what he’s done,” Husband said.
“We’re learning all the time and so is he, and he’ll probably be the first one to say that because you never stop learning.
“We switch things up every now and then and do certain things different at times, but the principles are always the same.
“I can’t fault how his consistency levels have been over the last few months, he’s been fantastic.”
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