12:00pm Friday 29th November 2013
By David Pritchard
AS THE Oxford United squad make the long trip north today, Danny Rose will have plenty of time to reflect on how far he has come over the past 12 months.
The midfielder is a key figure in the side’s climb to the top of the table and is one of three players, along with Ryan Clarke and David Hunt, to start every Sky Bet League Two game this season.
It is a far cry from a year ago, when his career was stalling at tomorrow’s opponents, Fleetwood Town.
Rose was signed from Newport County in January 2012 and played a part in the Cod Army’s march to the Conference title.
But the former Manchester United reserve did not play another minute for Fleetwood and he found himself frozen out.
“Wrexham came in for me and I reluctantly said no, I wanted to stay and fight for my place to play in the Football League,” he said.
“Literally, as soon as I said no they turned sour and faded me out as quick as I could.
“I was told to train with the youth team and was treated pretty badly if I’m honest.
“I had to get the PFA involved to a certain extent to allow me to get a loan move because they were doing certain things to try and stop that.”
The situation ended with a temporary switch to Aldershot, but headmits it was a tough period.
Rose said: “It can knock your self confidence a lot because you know the manager and the team don’t want you there.
“It can be a tough time and it can go under the radar in those situations around the training ground.
“It happens a lot and probably lots of players now are going through the same thing.”
It means Rose will have plenty of incentive to perform when he faces Fleetwood for the first time.
The 25-year-old insists there is nothing for him to prove at Highbury – feeling his performances and United’s league position have already made the point.
Indeed, Rose thinks the last four months have been the best of his career, which makes the contrast from a year ago even more satisfying.
“This is the highest level I’ve played at consistently, so it’s very pleasing to be a big part of that,” he said.
“Twelve months ago I was training with the youth team as the only professional player there, not knowing what was going to happen the next week.
“I didn’t know where my career was going, so to see where I am now, playing regularly in a team that’s top of League Two at a great club like Oxford, I wouldn’t say I’m pinching myself, but it is something I’m very humble and proud with how the last 12 months has gone.”
© Copyright 2001-2014 Newsquest Media Group