Cort keen to take chance after his injury nightmare

Chris Lakey Carl Cort yesterday revealed how his injury nightmare had left him close to quitting football - and his delight at being given another chance as the "ace" up Glenn Roeder's sleeve.

Chris Lakey

Carl Cort yesterday revealed how his injury nightmare had left him close to quitting football - and his delight at being given another chance as the "ace" up Glenn Roeder's sleeve.

The 31-year-old was ready to walk away from the game that has been his life as a series of knee injuries began to take their toll, physically and mentally.

A career that had promised so much when Sir Bobby Robson paid Wimbledon £7m to take him to Newcastle in the summer of 2000, looked set to end with his departure from Spanish Second Division side Marbella, who he joined in January, soon after he left Leicester.


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But the skilled hands of former West Ham physio John Green gradually helped Cort forget the bad times - and look forward to a second chance.

That came when Green put Cort in touch with Glenn Roeder who, after a fortnight keeping him out of sight of the spies on City's Colney training fields, had seen enough to offer him a deal until the end of the season.

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A career that looked to be over was alive again.

"It's a fantastic feeling," said Cort, whose last competitive game in England was last December for Leicester.

"It's been a long time, it's been a strange few months for me in terms of the injuries I've had and the situation I've been through, but at the moment I'm delighted and looking forward to cracking on.

"Probably about this time last year I was actually considering calling it a day because I've had a series of problems with my knee for the last several years now and I think it got to a certain point where I don't think everybody understood how bad the situation was."

The demand for today's injured players to be fit yesterday didn't help, with Cort admitting that not all managers were prepared to play a game of patience with him.

"I think one of the major factors why I was going to call it a day is because I got to a point where I was sort of bounced from club to club and not really getting any success there due to the fact of my knee playing up.

"But I took a couple of months out to rethink what I was going to do.

"I gave it one more chance, and got put through to this guy (Green) who has done a fantastic job, not just physically but mentally as well.

"I feel a lot better myself and what I'm doing now, the movements and the stuff I'm doing now in training which I wasn't able to do before."

Cort is unlikely to start at Watford tonight, but a place on the subs' bench is likely, with Roeder hoping to build up the player's match fitness over the next few games.

"It's been several months that I've been out for," said Cort. "I'm fit, but obviously there is no substitute for match fitness. That will come.

"I haven't felt this excited in years, it feels like you're getting your debut in a sense."

Cort has watched City from the safety of the stands and has been impressed what he has seen.

"Obviously in terms of where they are in the league they can do a bit better, but in terms of their commitment and their effort, every day in training they've been fantastic and they've got some very, very good footballers," said Cort.

"I think from now to then end of the season we could give it a good push."

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