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25 September 2018

Hard work is the key for Nathan Byrne who has been enjoying the football on show from his team mates after his return from a pre-season injury.

  • Latics Listen: Nathan Byrne reflects on a tough pre-season injury and looks ahead.
  • Latics' 2017-18 double Player of the Year winner on the team's start to the season.
  • Byrne full of praise for Chelsea loanee Reece James.

It was a tough pre-season with injury for Nathan Byrne, Latics' 2017-18 double Player of the Year winner who was keen to hit the ground running after a standout season in Sky Bet League One.

The flying right-sider returned to action in mid-August as a substitute in Latics' 2-2 draw against Nottingham Forest and made his first start a week later against Queens Park Rangers. Despite limited opportunities due to his injury and the form of Chelsea loanee Reece James, Byrne has been his usual positive self and has enjoyed the progress made by the team so far this season.

You can listen to Nathan's chat from 7:40 below on Latics Listen episode 7.

On the injury, Byrne began:

"When I got injured it was probably the worst timing. It was half way through pre-season and it set me back four or five weeks.

"It was frustrating and I was depserate to kick on after last season. You want to hit the ground running when you go into a demanding league like the Championship, so to miss the start of the season through injury was annoying, but that's football.

"You have to approach a pre-season injury differently and there's a degree of patience needed because when you come back from an injury during a season it only takes a couple of weeks to get back to your level, whereas when you're recovering in pre-season and you're not fully fit to start with, it's like working from the ground up again.

"I've built my fitness well and I feel like I'm in a good place. I'm over it now and I'm looking forward to the rest of this season."

On Latics' start to the season and competition for places, Byrne continued:

"The boys have started really well and I think we should have even more points than what we've got. Everything is positive and the boys are playing really well, so I can't really complain, I've just got to keep fighting for my place.

"We've added Reece James to battle it out with me and he's done brilliantly. He's a great guy and we click, add to that the fact he's playing really well, I can't complain and all I can do is work hard as all of the boys do each day."

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