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Club News


24 November 2014

Ben Watson delighted to be back after nine months out in emotional return against Middlesbrough.

  • Watson returns from injury as sub against Middlesbrough.
  • “Thank you to everyone for their support.” – Ben Watson.
  • “I’ve got to thank Graham and Eric for showing their faith in me.”
Ben Watson last stepped out at the DW Stadium nine months ago on a traumatic Tuesday evening in February 2014, which saw the FA Cup final hero suffer a second leg break in the space of just 15 months during Latics 2-0 win against Barnsley.

This Saturday the midfielder made a much awaited return as a second half substitute against Middlesbrough in Latics 1-1 draw, an emotional come back explains the 29-year-old:

“It was so nice to be back out there. It’s been such a long time.

“The reception from the fans was really nice and I’m hoping for more of the same.

“It was emotional; it’s been a long time coming.  It’s hard to believe that I finally got the chance to play again.”

Watson recently returned to the bench for the trip to Brighton & Hove Albion at the start of November, as well featuring in a 3-3 draw against Tranmere Rovers for the Development Squad.

Delighted to be back following all of his hard work, he did admit it was a little surreal:

“When you break your leg once you worry whether you’ll be able to do the same things you used to do, so to break my leg again it was always an even bigger worry for me.

“At first I couldn’t see myself walking properly, and then when I was walking I couldn’t picture running properly, but it has all come around nicely.

“That has a lot to do with the support I’ve had from team mates, all of the staff at the club and the fans.  In that respect recovering has been easy.”

Watson continued:

“I’ve been in a good place mentally since it happened, I didn’t beat myself up or get down about it because I’ve been in that position before and I knew it would take time.

“Time is the greatest healer, so I knew I had to be patient and days like Saturday are exactly what you work hard and remain patient for.

“I’ve got to thank Eric Black and Graham Barrow as well as the new manager for giving me the chance to come back at the weekend.

“Eric and Graham have seen me in training for the last six weeks and I’ve worked to prove that I’m ready, it was just a case of getting that chance and thankfully the gaffer gave it to me on Saturday.

“It’s all behind me now and I’m looking forward to the rest of the season.”

Focusing on Saturday’s performance, Watson added:

“Credit to everyone on Saturday, it was a good performance and looking back at the chances we created we should have won the game.

“It was important that we didn’t get beat because in previous weeks when we’ve conceded a goal our heads have dropped and we found it hard to get going again.  I think that’s different now because we reacted and if anything we finished the game stronger.”

Shaun Maloney gave Latics the lead in the first half with what Watson described as a ‘fantastic’ free kick, sparking an impromptu celebration between himself and the goal scorer:

“It wasn’t a planned celebration, I think it was more because I was there on the touchline at the time.  It was a nice touch because he’s my roommate for away games and a very good friend.

“The free kick was fantastic, I thought he was outstanding and he brought in his form from Scotland which is exactly the Shaun Maloney we all know.

“Saturday’s Shaun Maloney is the one who can get us all fired up, he can produce outstanding things and if he continues that for the rest of the season then this club is only going one way.”

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