THE injury curse which has afflicted Fleetwood Town this season has helped Peter Cavanagh cope with his own injury nightmare.
The veteran full-back has been among Town’s long-term injury victims – an Achilles problem means his season has not really got started – but the lengthy queue for the treatment room has helped Cavanagh to get over the worst.
As he steps up his training in readiness for a comeback, Cavanagh explained: “Having other players around you who are injured helps too because you keep each other’s spirits up in the gym.
“Injury is always horrible but it has also helped that the team has been doing so well. No-one wants to come back into a team that’s struggling, so hopefully when I get my chance I can play a part and we can go on and achieve something.”
And Cavanagh hopes that chance may not be too far away.
He added: “Everything is good now. I had a good week at Lilleshall about a fortnight ago.
“I can push on with fitness work now and hopefully give the gaffer a selection headache or two, along with one or two others who are coming out of the treatment room.”
In the same week Peter Till declared himself ready to return to action, Cavanagh is another who may feel like a new signing after so long out.
“It’s a slow road but hopefully there’s light at the end of the tunnel now and I can play a full part in the rest of the season,” he said.
“I’ve had a couple of injuries of similar length, so I knew what to expect. You just have to keep your chin up and keep working hard.”
Saturday’s eagerly-anticipated FA Cup first-round clash with Wycombe may have come too early for Cavanagh but excitement is natually running high among the rest of the squad.
And one Town player who knows all about big FA Cup occasions is convinced they can upset the League One club.
Striker Richard Brodie was a member of the Crawley side which restricted Manchester United to a single goal in last season’s third round.
Indeed, Brodie came close to a goal to tell the grandchildren about when his stoppage-time header hit an Old Trafford crossbar.
“Yes, I had a chance to nick it. I was only half an inch away,” he recalls.
“It was a dream come true to play in such a big fixture and I really want the other lads to experience that kind of atmosphere as well. It was definitely better than my two appearances at Wembley.
“We’ve got a great chance of progressing on Saturday and we come in on the back of a great result at Luton. Wycombe will get a shock when they see our facilities and the quality of the players we have.”
Crawley’s cup run didn’t detract from their challenge for promotion to the Football League and Brodie sees no reason why the same should not apply to Town.
He added; “Many people see Cup competitions as a distraction but it gave us confidence to kick on and eventually we achieved our aim of winning the league.
“The most difficult game for us was the home match against Southport on the Tuesday after United. We found it hard to get ourselves going after such a high.”
Interviews: David Mitchell