Tuanzebe: I'll be back on the pitch soon
"I'm a lot stronger now and soon to be back on the pitch with the lads again," says Axel Tuanzebe in our interview...
What kind of update can you give us on your fitness? “Yeah, my training has been very good for the last couple of weeks. My physio, John Davin, has helped me a lot with my progression and tried to really optimise the time I've had to recover. It's been going really good, I'm a lot stronger now and soon to be back on the pitch with the lads again.” How crucial are those backroom staff who are unseen to the public eye but play a massive role for you guys? “Yeah, most definitely, all of them play little parts. But mostly I have been with John and we have had a good plan on how to get back onto the pitch, so it has just been about executing it right this time and hopefully having no set-backs to get back with the lads.” You've been training away from the group today, mainly with Scott, and looking strong, so are you hoping to join in full training soon? “I couldn't really put a timeframe on it, but yeah very soon. The training today went well and I just want to keep that vibe, that mentality and that work ethic. Scott is always great to train with, we always push each other, so we are putting in the hard work to get back as soon as possible.” How frustrating has this period been for you? Because you started the season well, made appearances, captained the side and was due to start against Liverpool before getting the unfortunate injury... “Yeah, this season has been a but frustrating. There have been many opportunities that I could have exploited but it wasn't to be. Last season I played a lot of games on loan at Villa and I wanted to replicate that this season. There are still three competitions left that we can go for. I want to be heavily involved in that, help the side to win trophies and get into those Champions League places.” Do you think the mental side of injury is just as big as the physical side? “Yeah, most definitely. Your approach to how you want to recover is definitely key. I am one of those guys who doesn't spend time off when I am injured. I want to get back onto it as soon as possible and try everything possible to get fit as soon as I can. The people around me, my family, have been a really big support in that, the physios here and all of the lads have been onto me as well, asking when I'm back. So it's good to have those messages and morale support to get you back onto the pitch.”