We caught up with Matt Preston to find out how his recovery from injury is coming along and how he has dealt with being sidelined for a prolonged period of time.
Speaking on #LiveFromTheHive on Tuesday night, Preston was in good spirits after he recently returned to the training pitch after suffering a ruptured ligament in his right ankle back in November.
Q: Firstly Matt how is the recovery coming along?
MP: The recovery is coming along well, it was a really bad injury, it was a complete rupture so I expected that I was going to have some time out. Thankfully, I didn't have to have an operation so I have just have been rebuilding the muscles around it. It's coming along well, I am back out on the grass and I am just trying to get my fitness back up. Hopefully, it won't be too long until I can join back in fully with the boys.
Q: How frustrating was it to pick up the injury, just as you broke into the team?
MP: For sure, before I had picked up the injury, I hadn't been able to play many games, because of COVID, I had literally only played in a few games. It's frustrating to have played so few games this season, but I am back out on the grass now so hopefully, I'll get back out playing soon.
Q: How good has the medical team been in supporting you through this injury?
MP: They've all been really good with me, the gaffer included in that as well. It would be very easy for them to try and rush certain things for me, the gaffer has been really good with me. Dimi has overseen everything and he's been really good with me, he's looked after and been given me my programmes every day. As a team, they've all worked really well to support me through the injury.
Q: How important is it that you don't rush through the recovery process?
MP: With something like my injury, where I haven't had an operation, it's about me and how I treat my ankle. If I had done too much too soon, it would have just put me back to square one and I would have been out for another three months, which would have been demoralising. To do something right is the best way to go because long term it benefits everyone.
Q: Are you relishing the competition for places at centre-back with the other guys, once you return to fitness?
MP: The two new lads (Liam Daly and Ben Richards-Everton) have set a very good standard, I try to watch what they've been doing on the training pitch and take some bits from their game, so I can implement it in mine. They are both experienced lads, so it's helpful to try and learn some stuff from them and take some knowledge from them as well.
Q: Do you think Barnet fans have seen the real Matt Preston?
MP: I wouldn't say so before I got my injury I was slowly getting into the flow of things and then I get that setback through my injury. Now it's all about getting some match minutes where I can, training hard and doing the right things, then we'll go from there.
Q: What do we need to turn our form round?
MP: It all starts out there on the training pitch and we're doing that right, all the boys get in early and leave late. Habits that are formed on the training pitch, should end up being carried over into matches. I think the gaffer is doing well to push everyone that little bit more and force good habits into people, which is key. We have to start to taking what's being drilled on the training pitch into matches and start showing a little more character.
Q: You must be hoping to feature a bit more with so many matches left to play?
MP: It's a really strange situation, there's still almost half of the season left. That's good for me personally, because I can get myself fit and get some games. I can keep working to get fit and hopefully get some minutes under my belt. Getting back out on the pitch is what is driving me onwards, I still believe I can help the team get out of this situation and move on up the table.