MICHAEL KIGHTLY believes he has finally overcome his injury-hit past . . . and says he is ready to use that as inspiration to showcase his talents on a more consistent basis.
The England Under-21 international has shown brief glimpses of his quality during his first campaign with the Potters, but knows he hasn’t yet lived up to expectations.
Acknowledging that past injuries have hampered his progression, he feels that having come through the best part of the 2012-13 campaign with no setbacks, he is in the best position possible to get his career firmly back on track.
“I’ve had no injuries this year, touch wood, and that has been absolutely fantastic for me obviously,” said the 27-year-old midfielder.
“I haven’t missed one single training session yet this season, which is quite surprising to be honest, because as you well know I have had a few problems in my career.
“It’s been an up and down season for me though for sure, because I haven’t managed to nail down a regular spot in the team.
“That hasn’t been down to injury though as I say, it’s been for other reasons. I thought I started the season well, scored a couple of goals, and then lost my place.”
He added: “Since then I have struggled to get back into the team really, but hopefully with my injuries well and truly behind me, I can push on and get back to playing to the level that I know I am capable of.”
Despite an alarming run of form that has culminated in just one win in eleven Premier League games, Tony Pulis’ side still sit relatively comfortably in eleventh spot.
Kightly, however, is refusing to take a laid back approach to the current standings, and is fully aware of the impending danger should he and his team-mates fail to turn things around over the coming weeks.
“For one reason or another, things haven’t gone quite so well for us since the New Year, but we are determined to turn it all around, because teams below us are closing in on us,” he said.
“There are still eight or nine games to go though, so there are plenty of points out there for us to go and pick up.
“It’s been a disappointing spell for us because over Christmas we were really flying and we were moving along really nicely.
“In a League as tough and as demanding as this though, it’s almost impossible to keep things going for such a prolonged period of time. We just need to get that win and then look onwards and upwards.”