Louis-Jean clears another hurdle
JONATHAN REDHEAD Norwich City's injury-plagued full back Matthieu Louis-Jean is just delighted to be playing football again after taking another step along the comeback trail.
Norwich City's injury-plagued full back Matthieu Louis-Jean is just delighted to be playing football again after taking another step along the comeback trail.
The 30-year-old Frenchman played 80 minutes for City's reserves in their 3-0 reverse against Northampton earlier this week as he recovers from the serious hamstring problem that has restricted him to just two first team appearances in more than a year in Norfolk.
And while the right-back admits he is enjoying things, he will continue take time over his rehabilitation after such a lengthy spell on the sidelines.
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“I'm happy,” he said. “Things are going well at the moment. It's been difficult not playing, but I had a really bad injury and the main thing is to get it right.
“Now I'm getting fitter, but when you've been out that long it's not easy.”
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Louis-Jean arrived at Carrow Road in July last year from Nottingham Forest, in a swap deal which saw long-serving midfielder Gary Holt go the other way.
The right-back played the opening two games of the Canaries' 2005-06 campaign. But he lost his place in the side to Jurgen Colin after a 1-1 draw at home to Crewe and has not appeared in the first team since after picking up the hamstring injury on the training ground.
Since then, the luckless defender has been unable to pull on a yellow and green shirt, except for a few reserve outings during the past few weeks.
But as he is still to get a full match under his belt, Louis-Jean is reluctant to put a date on when he could be back in contention for a first team berth.
“It's hard to say,” he said. “I've still only played a few games for the reserves and I've still not had a full 90 minutes for the reserves so I need to get those games.
“It's very frustrating because I've come from somewhere before where I was used to playing week in, week out. We you are at a new club you want to show what you can do.”
In Louis-Jean's absence, Dutchman Jurgen Colin has successfully staked a claim for the right-back spot this season after initially finding life hard at Carrow Road.
Now, Louis-Jean is impressed with how Colin is performing and pleased with the team as a whole.
“Jurgen is doing really well,” he said. “It wasn't easy for him last year when you come in from another country. Now he looks a lot more settled in the team and the way of playing.
“The team has started the season pretty well and we did really well in the first two or three weeks. We're still near the top six and I think we're heading in the right direction.”
While he would love to be in contention for a first team spot, Louis-Jean will continue to enjoy stepping out for the reserves and seeing some action.
“I'm really happy to play football,” he said. “I've been out for so long, just to have that feeling is good. I'm really enjoying things.”