Unlucky Spillane enjoying late flurry
Chris LakeyMichael Spillane has to go down as one of City's unluckiest players of the season. He suffered a hamstring injury in the 5-1 home win over Bristol Rovers back in October - just as he appeared to be winning the battle with Jon Otsemobor for the right back spot - and, including a recurrence, ended up waiting five and a half months before his first team reappearance.Chris Lakey
Michael Spillane has to go down as one of City's unluckiest players of the season.
He suffered a hamstring injury in the 5-1 home win over Bristol Rovers back in October - just as he appeared to be winning the battle with Jon Otsemobor for the right back spot - and, including a recurrence, ended up waiting five and a half months before his first team reappearance.
During that time Paul Lambert had invested in Peterborough full-back Russell Martin, who had a run of 25 consecutive games at right back in a City team which marched to the top of the table.
That was until Lambert was forced to switch things around for the trip to Charlton two weeks ago, when Martin was pushed into midfeld and Spillane added to the defence.
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Finally, Spillane's luck had changed, and, having been part of the side that wrapped up promotion, he retained his place for the game that sealed the title, with a training ground injury forcing Martin into the treatment room.
Martin's a doubt again today, so Spillane looks set to continue at right-back - and he's hoping to take the chance that has come his way.
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'I was playing and I was enjoying myself and I got an injury - it was probably the hardest time of my career so far, because I'm not used to being injured it was hard being out for so long. Obviously it's frustrating for any player if you are in and playing well and you get injured, however long, it's frustrating, but Russell came in and did really well and he has played well all season.
'I can't complain and if the team are doing well I just have to get on with it. Hopefully we do well next year and I'll be in the team.
'I have to aim to be playing and hope I start the next couple of games and do well.'
The Championship beckons, and with 13 appearances in the second tier, Spillane has at least had a taste of what's to come.
'I'm excited,' he said. 'I played there before when I was here, not regularly, but I played a few games and I enjoyed it and I'm looking forward to it.
'It's a big challenge, but as a few of the boys have said, we are good enough and we are going into it with confidence and we are not going to be scared of anyone.'
Spillane's injury occurred just days after he scored his only goal of the season, a left-footed effort in the 4-0 win over Leyton Orient at Carrow Road that earned him the goal of the season award at Tuesday's end of season dinner.
'Rusty (Darel Russell) knocked it out to me, I took it inside, took it around the geezer and hit it in the far corner.'