ANDY Lord is relishing the task of getting Oxford United’s injured players back into action.
The 30-year-old takes over as the club's new physio this week, and says he cannot wait to get stuck in and see both his work, and that of the players, paying off.
United have been looking for a new physio since Jon Brown left before the start of the season, with youth team physio Max Martini having filled in in the meantime.
Lord joins the U's from Derby County, where he was the No 2 to Neil Sullivan, the former Oxford physio.
And he says that Sullivan was a massive factor in him joining the club.
“I have heard lots of really good things about Oxford and am really looking forward to bringing some of my own ideas here,” he said.
“I gained lots of valuable experience at Derby and obviously learnt a lot from Neil there.
“Neil was a massive factor in me coming. I heard about the job through him, and he’s been a great mentor for me.”
Lord, who specialises in injury prevention, has had a good grounding with jobs in the NHS and RAF as a physio.
And he says that the buzz you get when you help a player recover from injury earlier than anticipated is what his job is all about.
“You’re always on call – I’m expecting phone calls late at night and early in the morning, you’ve always got to be available,” he said.
“It’s all about getting the players ready for games, and if that includes unsociable hours, than that’s what you have got to do.
“You put a lot of work into getting players fit again, and the buzz is seeing them back out on the pitch.”
He added: “There’s always that pressure at football clubs of trying and get players back slightly earlier than normal, but it’s all about getting that balance.
“Through experience you get an idea of when they’re going to be ready. You just have to be honest with the manager to say that a player maybe isn’t quite there and does he want to take the risk.
“It’s a fine line and hopefully most of the time you get it right.”
And Lord says that his first mission is trying to reduce the number of injured players in the treatment room.
“I have heard from that a few players here have been in the treatment room for a while, but understand that they are getting closer to a return now, so hopefully I can play my part in getting them back on the pitch,” he said.