Nydam: It's Good to Be Back

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Nydam: It’s Good to Be Back

Sunday, 11th Apr 2021 11:19 Midfielder Tristan Nydam was delighted to make his return to senior action as a sub in yesterdays 0-0 home draw with the MK Dons, two years to the day since his last competitive first-team game. The 21-year-old broke his fibula and sustained ruptured ankle ligaments in the pre-season friendly at Notts County in July 2019. His last competitive fixture was the 2-0 defeat at Brentford two years ago yesterday when he came on as a sub, his only appearance under Paul Lamberts management having spent the first half of that campaign at St Johnstone where he made only one start and four sub appearances. As a result of the injury, he went 581 days without a game at any level before making his return in an U23s game against QPR in February. It was good, good to be back, Nydam said. Two years to the day since I last played a game for the first team, so its good to be back. It was a bit tough out there, but Im happy to be back there. I think Thursday or Friday, the gaffer told me I might be involved, so its been a good few days. Ive been working towards this for a long time, so its been really good. Manager Paul Cook took the former England U18 and U19 international to one side before the game to give him a brief pep talk. He said to go out and do what Ive been doing for the U23s, dont be silly and work myself too hard, he said. The gaffers been great, hes really great, the gaffer. Zimbabwe-born, Colchester-raised Nydam was introduced for Teddy Bishop in the 62nd minute and showed few signs of rustiness as he got on the ball and was very much involved during his time on the field. Its obviously a big part of my game to try and get on the ball and then Ive got the energy and the tenacity some people might say, he said. I feel like thats part of my game, so I just went out there and tried to do what I can do. Nydam has always primarily been viewed as a midfielder, however, prior to his injury in pre-season 2019 he had largely operated at left-back and his first few games with the U23s having made his return were in that role. However, the one-time St Benedict’s Catholic College in Colchester pupil is happiest in midfield. As I was first coming back I was playing left-back and maybe that was in my head a little bit, he continued. But now Ive had a go in midfield with the U23s, Ive started to enjoy it and I think midfield is probably my best position. Asked whether he is ready to start a game, he said: Well have to wait and see! That 30 minutes was tough, I was waiting for my second wind to kick in. Well have to wait and see, its down to me to keep working hard and showing the gaffer what I can do.

Nydam was one of six Town academy graduates involved against the Dons with Bishop, Luke Woolfenden, Andre Dozzell, Flynn Downes and Armando Dobra all starting. There are a lot of the young boys that have come through the academy and its great that were all on the pitch together, helping each other, he added. Looking back at his two years on the sidelines, he said: Its been tough, not just physically but mentally as well. Obviously I wasnt involved in the first team in 2019 before I broke my leg and that happened and its been a long process recovery-wise. But thats led to this and Im pleased to be back. However he says he believed he would get back, although he admits to doubts at one stage: Yes, although there were some part of me, like 10 per cent, that maybe thought after that first six months when I was supposed to be back and nothing happened, is it going to happen for me?. But the physios have been superb, the coaching staff, no ones forced me back. Its been a long road but theres light at the end of the tunnel. He paid tribute to those who supported him during his recovery: Obviously BY [physio Matt Byard] and the rest of the physio team, theyve been superb with me. And then weve got Bryan [Klug] and Kieron [Dyer], they know what Im like, theyve been helping me. And the new gaffers come in, hes not put any pressure on me whatsoever. And then Ive got my family, my mum, my brothers and all my friends. My team-mates have been superb as well. Obviously there have been a few of us with long-term injuries, so we all stuck together and helped each other. Its never nice for anyone to have a long-term injury but weve all stuck together and its been good. Nydam says his team-mates still made him feel part of the group despite his lengthy absence: Of course, you come into the changing room, theyre all speaking to you, theyre all making you feel welcome and they dont need to do that, but they do which shows what a tight group of lads we are. Everyone gets along, theres no feistiness, the animosity in the dressing room. Its good. Like most players injured long-term, he says it wasnt always easy watching games: You just want to get out there, but you have your challenges in life, its just how you overcome them, and theres light at the end of the tunnel for everyone. He says hes confident in the ankle, which he knows may come as a surprise after such a serious injury. A lot of people might think I might be scared to make a tackle but thats not in my head, he insisted. Im cautious whether to do too much in training but making tackles and stuff, thats not in my head. Has he changed as a person for the experience? Yes, I think Ive matured a little. On the pitch sometimes I used to be a bit feisty, used to be a bit mouthy but Ive matured a little. Whether thats my injury or me growing up, Im not sure, but I have changed a little bit. My ankles feeling fine. Ive still hopefully got another 12, 13 years ahead of me. Plenty to look forward to. Nydam believes hes still a little way off his best form: I still think Ive got a good while to go because Ive only been back a couple of months. I dont know when my first [U23] game was, maybe February and they usually say it takes you the same amount of time to get back [as youve been out] but hopefully for me thats not the case! I still think Ive got a few more months before I get back to my best but Im getting there each and every day. And with the help of the staff, the gaffer, Kieron, Bryan, I think I can get there. He is among the legion of Town players whose contracts are up in the summer, although the club have an option to keep him for a further season, and he says there have been no talks regarding extending his stay at the club – he joined as an U10 – up to now. No, not yet. Im not focused on that, Im just focused on getting back to playing football, he continued. Its been a long road, so for me, getting back to playing U23s and then building towards the first team, thats been the main goal. The contract situations not really been in my head too much. In addition to the two years out, the previous season was a frustration with the St Johnstone loan not working out and just that one brief appearance during Towns Championship relegation campaign. It was 2017/18 under Mick McCarthy in which he made most of his 14 senior starts and eight sub appearances for the Blues. Two years ago today was my first appearance in that season, he recalled. It was three years ago really when I was involved. Its been a long road, there are seven games left and hopefully I can be involved in them as much as possible. Whether I am or not, it doesnt really bother me, as long a Im playing games. If Im involved, fantastic, but I just want to be back playing [at any level]. Of course, it was tough but its how you overcome those challenges and how you focus going forward. But as Ive said before, theres light at the end of the tunnel for everyone, everyone goes through bad times and hopefully Ive overcome it and I can just keep moving. Nydam says new manager Paul Cooks approach to the game with constant pressing and a high work-rate to the fore suits him and, assuming he does get offered a new deal, that bodes well for the future. It does, he reflected. Thirty minutes today was tough, but that side of the game suits me, Ive got a bit of energy, Im quite tenacious, I do like a tackle, so that suits me. Youve got to be optimistic. Whether its just how the manager wants you to play, youve got to be optimistic, youve got to go into each game take it in your stride and move from there. Perhaps surprisingly, Nydam says this weeks takeover of the club hasnt been a big topic of discussion among the squad. The boys have just got on with it, he said. Its not been in anyones mind, weve just got on and focused on todays game and focused on the next seven games, thats not really been what weve talked about. Ive not heard anyone discuss it really.

Photos: TWTD/Matchday Images

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Linkboy13 added 11:41 – Apr 11

Out of all the young players at Ipswich i would luv this Lad to succeed. Steve Foley says he’s a really good kid and likened him to Bryan Robson. Of course he hasn’t got a dad at the club so he will have to work hard for his place. Don’t think he’s big enough to play at full back and midfield is his best position. Good luck to the lad anyway. 4

Skip73 added 12:03 – Apr 11

Linkboy, a sly dig at Dozzell? 1

Ward left looking for a new club again

CraigEdwards added 12:08 – Apr 11

Great little player and could be massive if he stays injury free

It could be like having a new arrival on a free

Good luck lad. 1

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