Midfielder Callum Guy came to Brunton Park in January ready to make a mark as he penned an 18-month deal, with boss Chris Beech clearly delighted at his capture on the day of his arrival at the club, just 24-hours before the transfer window closed.
Having come off the bench to make his first appearance for the club at Mansfield, a first start was tucked under the belt for the 1-1 home draw with Swindon, before disaster struck in the second half of the home game against Cheltenham as a heavy challenge from Will Boyle left him on the floor and in pain.
“To get injured in my third game for a new club was so frustrating,” he said. “I felt like I was just starting to build up a bit of momentum. I was in and out of the team during the first half of the season at Blackpool, so I was feeling good to get a bit of a run of starts going.
“When I look back at the tackle that caused it, I think I maybe could have pulled out of it, but that isn’t the sort of player I am. If I start pulling out of tackles like that then I’m not the player I know I can be.
“I knew it was a bad one as soon as it happened, I don’t think I’ve ever felt pain like it. It could have been a lot worse, so I think I got a bit lucky with it to be honest.
“Injuries happen in football and it’s just something you’ve got to get on with. The Cheltenham player went in with his studs up a bit and it didn’t look great from his point of view, but he messaged me and told me he obviously didn’t mean me any harm and he wished me well with my recovery, which was nice of him.
“You’re always going to get injuries, so it’s all about how you bounce back from them.”
On how he’s been managing his recovery, he told us: “It hasn’t always been easy, I don’t mind saying that.
“I obviously haven’t had the facilities I would have had at the stadium, and Dolly and Dave [Waldie] haven’t been able to see what I’ve been doing or give me that one-on-one coaching I would have had if we were in work.
“I’ve found it difficult to motivate myself at times but Dolly has been keeping in touch and making sure I’m doing everything I need to.
“I’m doing different things and I’m out on my bike quite a lot. I’m hoping to be running in the next couple of days because I haven’t had any reaction to what I’ve been doing so far. It’s all going as well as it could. If we do play the last nine games I think I’ll need a week with Dave before I can train to make sure I’m right, but hopefully that will go well.”
“I know the gaffer knows what I can do and I’ve obviously got a contract for next season already, so it’s important for me not to rush back and I know I need to make sure I’m right,” he continued. “The gaffer has been keeping tabs on me and making sure I’m listening to Dolly, so he’s been really good with me, and I can’t wait to play for him again.
“It’s an uncertain time for everyone, never mind my injury, so it’s good to know that I’m sorted for next year and I don’t have to worry about that side of things. The gaffer had confidence in me by giving me an 18-month deal, so hopefully I can show everybody what I can do next season.
“I just want to get back playing as soon as possible. The fans have only seen me play a couple of games so it will be nice to be in front of them again, and hopefully have a much more successful season next year.
“We’ve been a lot harder to beat since the gaffer came in and we’ve picked up some good results, so whether it’s the last nine games of this season or next season, we’ll just look to continue that improvement and see where we end up.”
But with so much still up in the air with the much bigger and more important issue of the Coronavirus situation, he commented: “We all obviously want to be back playing football but that isn’t important when there are people losing their lives all around the world.
“Health is more important than anything else, so we’ve just got to keep doing the right things and wait until we get told it’s safe to return.
“It does feel a bit like the close season at the minute, but we usually have a date to work towards for the start of pre-season, so it’s a bit strange for everybody at the moment. I’m doing my rehab at home so I’m keeping busy, but it’s hard to say what it feels like overall.
“It’s like the end of the season, but we’ve obviously still got nine games left, which we’ll hopefully be able to play. We’ve all got fitness programmes to do so we’ll just continue to keep ourselves in the best shape as we can so we’re ready to go if we do get to finish the season.
“We’re all keeping in touch on the group chat and having the usual lad banter. We’ve had a couple of team FaceTime calls to keep each other motivated. We’ve got a really good team spirit and I think we’re all looking forward to being back in training, whenever that might be.”
“The main thing for everybody at the moment is to make sure that when we do get back playing it’s safe for everybody involved,” he concluded. “The EFL won’t let us play until it’s safe to do so, so we’ll just continue listening to the advice.
“I’ve seen a few different things about playing behind closed doors, and things like that, which is a difficult one. You want to play football in front of fans, and they are what gives you that extra 10%.
“If it isn’t safe and the games have to be on iFollow then I think it’s important that the fans are still able to watch the games, even if they can’t be inside the stadiums. If we do have to play behind closed doors it’ll be the same for everyone, and it will just be about who deals with it best.”