AARON Martin is hoping he can assist Curtis Nelson through his recovery a year after suffering an identical Achilles injury.

Nelson will not play again this season following the rupture against Northampton Town a fortnight ago.

No-one is in a better position to offer advice than Martin, who went through the same rehabilitation process in the last campaign.

“I spoke to Curtis straight away and said he just needs to get his head down and focus on himself,” Martin said.

“If he’s got any questions, I can help him get through it because it is a horrible one to have. We all know what he’s like though, he will work hard and will be fine.”

While there is plenty of information on how best to recover medically, the biggest challenge of a long lay-off is almost always mental.

Martin said: “It’s about keeping yourself upbeat and happy and determined to get back again, because there are some days where it’s horrible.

“But you just have to get through it. You’ve got to know your end goal and just focus on that and wait until you get your boots back on.

“There’s always ups and downs in football.

“There will be times where you’re not playing for whatever reason and you’ve just got to keep going.

“As soon as you think you’re not going to get back in, then there’s no point.

“I’ve never thought like that, I’ve always felt I’d get another chance.”

Martin’s long lay-off last season has been a major factor in what has been an intensely frustrating time since joining United 17 months ago.

He has started just four league games – and remarkably half have come in the last week.

While slotting in well in the 4-0 win against Plymouth Argyle, the former Southampton trainee had a tougher night in Tuesday’s 4-2 defeat at home to Blackburn Rovers.

Mike Williamson is waiting in the wings ahead of tomorrow’s trip to Southend United, but Martin believes a run of games would make a big difference.

Speaking before the Blackburn game, he said: “To get three or four games consecutively under my belt would be perfect for me, because it gives me a chance to get properly match-fit and really express what I know I can do.”