James Brophy is thrilled to finally be back involved in the thick of the action and is now determined to cement his place in Town’s first-team.
The flying full-back missed a large chunk of the first-half of the season due to illness and injury, but made his long-awaited comeback against MK Dons last month.
Having followed up an impressive display in that game with an accomplished performance against Southend United on Monday, Brophy now wants to kick on and play as many minutes as he can in order to help push the Reds up the table.
“It has been tough being out, firstly, and then I got back and I tore my hamstring,” he said.
“It felt good to be back. I thought I put in a good performance against MK Dons and Monday was pleasing as well.
“I was struggling within the first few minutes of games to breathe and struggling to get up and down the pitch so I went away to the doctors, they did a few tests and couldn’t find anything irregular so they were left a bit bemused.
“They said it was up to me to come back and then try and see if the issues reoccur and they haven’t as of yet, so I’m just looking forward to hopefully playing for the rest of the season.
“It was frustrating because they did tests and found nothing wrong so it was a good thing and a bad thing because you are glad but at the same time you want to find out what is wrong with you.
“I just had to focus on training, try and keep myself as fit as possible and wait until I could come back.
“I felt good after the game on Monday and I checked my stats to see how far I ran because I felt good after that match and I felt like I could keep on going.
“I’ve come back in the best possible condition.
“The aim now is to push on and hopefully become a regular on the left-hand side and help the team climb the table.”
Brophy was used as a standard left-back against Southend but has played further up the pitch during his time at SN1, although the man himself is just happy to be back involved.
“After my injuries I’m just happy to be playing,” he continued.
“I think at left-back I’m able to face the opposition much more easily so it gives me a chance to run at them, but the further up the pitch you go the more your back is facing to goal so you need to be more aware of what is going on behind you.
“I’m happy in either position – I just like running at people and hopefully beating my man.”
Town are unbeaten in their last four league games at SN1 and Brophy is hoping to extend that run this afternoon by securing what would be a huge three points.
“Shrewsbury are a good team and they try to play football like we do and that makes for a more entertaining game for the fans,” he added.
“It is just about making sure we stamp our authority on the game, dominate the ball and press when we lose the ball.
“It is a game we’ll be looking to win and we know we’ve got enough quality to be further up the table.
“Hopefully we can push on starting with this Saturday.”