NICK Montgomery is pushing himself through the pain barrier in an effort to help Sheffield United avoid relegation.
The midfielder returned to action against Nottingham Forest earlier this week despite being ordered by doctors to rest his injured knee until AFTER today’s crucial npower Championship fixture at Watford.
Revealing he was in discomfort throughout Tuesday’s 2-1 victory over Billy Davies’ side, Montgomery said: “I shouldn’t have been training until next week. But fortunately I tend to heal well and when the gaffer asked if I could play I wasn’t going to tell him ‘no’.
“Yes, it was painful but that’s fine because it was my choice to take part. I could have sat in the treatment room and just taken the experts’ advice but I want to be fighting for Sheffield United because that’s what we are in - a fight.”
Montgomery added: “I didn’t tell the specialist that I was going to play so I don’t know what he’ll think. I took some painkillers beforehand but I’ve never been one for jabs so I didn’t have an injection.
“I took a few knocks on it (the knee) which hurt a fair bit and I suppose if I’d taken a few more I might have had to come off. But I didn’t so that was okay.”
Despite incurring the wrath of United’s medical department, Montgomery has won the respect of Bramall Lane’s backroom staff for helping manager Micky Adams record his first since taking charge in December.
United travelled to Hertfordshire last night 23rd in the table with 10 matches of the season remaining.
Sam Vokes, Lee Williamson and Ched Evans all hope to feature at Vicarage Road despite missing training on Thursday but on-loan Bjorn Helge Riise has returned home to Norway to recuperate after receiving treatment on his hamstring. However, the international winger is expected to recover in time for next weekend’s Yorkshire derby with Leeds.
“A lot of us are going to be playing through knocks at this stage,” said Montgomery. “That’s just how it is towards the end of the season. If you can then you do it, don’t you.”
With Crystal Palace and Middlesbrough also recording victories in midweek, United remain six points adrift of safety.
But Montgomery said: “It doesn’t matter what happened elsewhere. Beating Forest was still a massive result for us because think where we’d be if we hadn’t have won.
“Of course confidence was a little bit low before that but this should do us the world of good.
“I know it’s what people always say but we can’t be worrying about what’s going on elsewhere or what anyone else is doing. What we’ve got to do is just focus on doing our own jobs.”