DONCASTER Rovers defender James O’Connor is counting the days to the time that he hopes to be back playing again following a broken bone in his foot.
The versatile 25 year-old, equally at home at right-back or centre-back, is currently sidelined with a broken foot and the only boot he will be wearing for the next ten days or so will be the protective walking boot that he has had on for the last couple of weeks.
Likely to feature prominently in the end of season awards, O’Connor picked up the injury in the first half of the club-record 6-0 home defeat by Ipswich Town last month.
He recalled: “I blocked a shot by Jason Scotland and although it was painful it wasn’t until after the game when I took my boot off, and I was in agony, that I realised I could have a problem.
“I’ve been in the boot since I first did it and I was on crutches until last weekend. When I come out of the boot I’ve got to spend two weeks getting used to mobilising my foot again before I can kick on.
“If there are no setbacks along the way I’m looking at being back in training within four weeks. I can’t wait to get back playing again; I’m a terrible spectator.”
O’Connor is hoping that the Ipswich game proves to be the low point of the season. Since then Rovers have won one, drawn three and lost two of their six games.
“The point away at Norwich was an excellent point and the Watford game was one where I thought we could have nicked a win but the way that results were going it was important that we picked up something,” said O’Connor.
“It was obviously a great result at Derby. Because they were struggling themselves it was a real six-pointer and it was important that we picked up the points.
“Obviously it was a disappointing result against Leeds at the weekend.
“As is always the case, the lads looked at clips of the game on Monday morning and looked at where they’ve gone wrong and try and put things right on the training ground. But when games have been coming thick and fast, as they have been for most of this year, there isn’t a lot of time for the gaffer to work with the lads between matches.”
Tuesday’s 1-1 draw at home to fellow strugglers Coventry City, helped ease Rovers a little further away from the relegation zone.
“We’ve got ten games left and we’ve obviously got to try and pick up as many points as we can and try and get to the 52-53 point mark as quickly as we can,” said O’Connor.
“We’ve got two really tough games coming up against Nottingham Forest at the City Ground on Saturday and then home to leaders QPR the following weekend.
“What we’ve got to do in both games is to make sure that we are well organised and in the right frame of mind because they are the sort of sides who can punish you if you don’t show up and do the right things against them.”
Rovers take on a Forest side who have lost their last two games, suffering their first home defeat of the season against Hull City last weekend.
O’Connor says he is not reading too much into that.
“Forest should have won the game comfortably,” he said.