Neil: I'll Be Back

Neil Mellor hopes to be back playing again in a month but is still waiting for a final diagnosis on the injury he sustained in the reserves against Wimbledon on Tuesday night.

"It is just one of those things and I am still not 100% sure myself, but I am going to go today with the doctor to see someone," he says.

"Looking at it last night there was a slight fracture there, but it is on the other side of my ankle, which suggests that it is kind of an old injury rather than a new one.

"The doctor said there is a little fracture there but it is nothig to be worried about.

"The actual injury itself was from a tackle and he must have been wearing Predator blades or something like that because the cut is in the shape of a blade; it was a massive cut and needed 12 stitches - and was quite painful.

"I was disappointed because I was looking forward to the game and trying to make an impression to show the boss that I might be worthy of selection."

He has no complaints about the 11th minute challenge and adds:

"I can't blame the lad at all; as I have shot he has tackled which he is entitled to do but unfortunately he has caught me - there are no grudges, that is for sure.

"Touch wood it is not broken and I hope to be back within a month or so but I certainly can't walk on it for the time being.

"The stitches will be in for a good couple of weeks so I will just have to rest and hope it recovers well, though it is sore at the moment."

To add insult to injury Tuesday was Neil's 21st birthday, though he had nothing planned, fortunately, for after the game!

"I didn't have anything arranged because we have a game on Saturday but I have a party arranged in a few weeks' time when we have not got a match.

"If I had scored last night that would have been the perfect celebration for my birthday; I was going to try to use it to show the manager I might deserve to get picked and it was the chance to do that, but with me going off so soon I am really disappointed."

The injury follows hot on the heels of what some might have termed another blow to Neil - the arrival of Brian Deane last week.

Neil, though, doesn't see it that way and adds:

"He is an experienced player who has been at some good clubs in his time.

"I have got great belief in myself and feel that if I am fully fit I have a chance so I just have to get to that level again.

"It is healthy that we have got some good strikers at the club and hopefully we can start banging the goals in and picking up the three points."

Neil certainly deserves a change of luck, and he adds:

"I could certainly perhaps have asked for a better start but that is just the way it is and you have to get on with it.

"I get on well with all the players, staff, and fans - which is good as it is always nice to have the fans on your side.

"Certainly at Liverpool I had respect from the fans there; obviously I have come down here and not been as successful as I hoped but I want to prove myself, that is for sure."

So, for the time being at least, Neil will be a supporter at Upton Park, and he adds:

"I will be there Saturday whether on crutches or not - I don't want to miss any games, that is for sure.

"I will be wishing the lads all the best because we are sixth, three points off fifth place now, and we need to get into that little pack that is there.

"If we beat West Brom we will be right in it again, and only a point behind them."