DONCASTER Rovers midfielder Paul Keegan has spent more time kicking his heels than kicking a ball this season.
The 27 year-old is on the comeback trail after a second knee operation in recent months.
Keegan looked all set to be challenging for a place in Rovers starting line-up after coming off the bench in the Carling Cup win over Tranmere Rovers and the first home league game against West Ham United. But his hopes were soon to be dashed.
“I was doing some twisting in training when I felt it nipping again,” recalled Keegan. “I went back to see the specialist and have a bit more trimmed off the cartilage.
“It’s frustrating being out especially when results haven’t been going well. We were losing games and you want to be involved and influence things.
“At least we’ve picked up some results in our last three games and the new manager has come in and turned things around a bit.
“I’m keen to get back sooner rather than later.
“With only having a one-year deal it’s important that I make an impact and I need to get back playing - especially with a new manager and staff coming in. You want to get out there and show them what you can do; you want to impress.
“I felt I did all right when I came in last season. I tried to give the team a bit more bite in midfield. You need a bit of everything to be a successful team and I like to think that I brought a bit of aggression. I’d also like to think I can pass the ball as well; I wouldn’t be here otherwise because of the way the old manager liked the team to play.
“The new manager likes his players to work hard and hopefully I can get that across to him that I’m prepared to do that.”
Like most of his team-mates, Keegan said that Sean O’Driscoll’s departure came as a shock. “It happened very quickly; but football can be like that,” he said.
“When results aren’t going well then the chairman and the board have to make tough decisions and we kind of have to move forward now. We all need to get behind the new manager and hopefully now we are out of the relegation zone we can start to climb the table.
“He’s made a great start - we’ve picked up seven points from three games - and he’s be using the last few days to work on stuff in training and to get his views across on how he wants us to play.
“The lads all like him - he’s very positive and lively - and I think they’ve responded in the way that they’ve played.”