Lenny Pidgeley thanks County fans
GOALKEEPER Lenny Pidgeley has thanked the Newport County AFC fans for helping him through his personal problems.
The Exiles number one returned to the team on Saturday and kept a clean sheet as County beat Bristol Rovers 1-0.
It was Pidgeley’s first competitive appearance since the Conference play-off final at Wembley in May and he was delighted to be back in the fold.
And the 29-year-old acknowledged his debt of gratitude to the club’s fans, manager Justin Edinburgh and chairman Les Scadding as well as his friends and family.
“It is great to be back,” said Pidgeley. “It’s been a tough time for me over the summer, from being on a high after Wembley to being down in the dumps and feeling quite poorly for a couple of months.
“I don’t want to go into too much detail really. It’s personal stuff. I haven’t been feeling too well but the club has dealt with it well.
“The supporters have been great with me,” he added. “They were singing my name in the warm-up at Northampton last week and I’ve been getting a lot of supportive tweets.
“That means a lot to me and the support from my close family and from the chairman, the gaffer and everyone at the club has been great.
“They all knew my situation and they’ve been so supportive and I’m a month or two forward from when I expected to be back playing.
“I really owe it to my friends and family as well and I want to thank them.”
Having been thrown back into competitive action in place of teenager Jamie Stephens following one friendly against Cardiff City last week, Pidgeley was happy with how the game went.
The Exiles won the first Severnside derby since 1987 thanks to Andy Sandell’s 42nd minute penalty and Pidgeley was relative untroubled throughout.
“I’m feeling a lot better in myself now and the gaffer made the decision to put me in and I’m just looking to build on that really,” he said.
“I missed the whole of pre-season and it’s been frustrating.
“I didn’t know I’d be playing until the manager named the team but I think the game against Cardiff in the week prepared me well.
“The result has cheered me up and I’ve just got to stay positive and hopefully everything will sort itself out.
“A clean sheet is a great way to start a new season for me in my first game.
“It was a great atmosphere out there and the fans really helped us out.
“It was important to get that goal before the break because it gave us something to hold on to.
“I didn’t have many saves to make but the conditions were difficult and I was glad I held onto the crosses and we kept them out.”