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INTERVIEW: I haven’t enjoyed not being involved at all

13 April 2017

Jason Kennedy on being back and ready to go

Midfielder Jason Kennedy returned to the action following a twelve-game absence with a hernia problem last weekend and he spoke this week about how frustrating it’s been to have missed out as he went through his rehab programme.

“I haven’t enjoyed not being involved at all,” he said. “I don’t like having to watch the lads train as I’ve been running at the side of the pitch, but you get through that with the help of the lads.

“They always have plenty to say and the likes of Michael Raynes were always laughing and joking when I was struggling a bit. It has been hard, but I’m getting there. I’ve had some minutes under my belt and hopefully I can get back to helping the team perform so that we get in the play-offs.”

On being back on the pitch, he said: “Getting on the pitch was definitely something I needed. It’s completely different to training when you get back out there and I did feel a bit rusty. I’m easing myself in and hopefully I’ll get to where I need to be within a few games.

“At the moment the basic things, like twisting and turning, feel a bit unnatural. You do all that in training but the speed you need to do it on the pitch is totally different. The pace of the game itself is different so you have to build yourself back into it as quickly as you can.

“The sharpness is coming back and it gets easier as each day goes by. I was really stiff after the game on Saturday but that should ease off and hopefully I’ll be firing on all cylinders come the weekend.

“Another good week of training will have me right back up there and I’m looking forward to kicking on now. We all just want to pull together and do the job now and, if the gaffer needs me, I want to be able to play a part in us getting results.”

The high of being back in action last Saturday was tempered by the frustration felt as the Magpies grabbed two late goals to steal the points.

“We didn’t really know what to say in the changing room afterwards,” he said. “We had the game in our grasp and we let it slip. The positive is that we’re still in the play-off places and we have to do what’s needed to get the results now.

“I don’t think you can dwell on things that go wrong too much. If you do that you end up going in to the next game with a lack of confidence. We’ve got to stay positive, make sure last week is out of our system and go to Hartlepool to do it right.

“That’s a local derby and we want to come out on top in it. If we’re being honest Friday and Monday will probably give us an indication of where we’re going to finish. They are two really big games so we’ll be pushing to get as much out of them as possible.”

A nice moment for everyone during the Notts County game was when he team got together to send a message to Joe Thompson who is currently undergoing treatment for cancer.

“I’ve known JT since I was at Rochdale eight years ago and he’s a good friend of mine,” he explained. “He’s a great lad who is always so positive and everyone who knows him has got round him to show their support.

“We’re all with him and everyone here at Carlisle United just wanted him to know that our thoughts are with him every step of the way.”

And his final word was for the fans who came along to the Open Day at Brunton Park on Tuesday.

“It’s a bit of a pick-me-up to see everyone at an event like this because results haven’t been going as we would have liked them to recently,” he told us. “Seeing all the fans and how much they appreciate us, and with all the smiling faces, is definitely good for everybody.

“When you see the backing you’ve got from the supporters it does give you motivation. It’s down to us as players to go out there and perform and make sure everyone is still smiling come the end of the season.”

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