Goal hero Andy Sandell happy to play anywhere for County
10:11am Tuesday 3rd December 2013 in Newport County
DEFENDER turned emergency goalkeeper turned match-winning striker Andy Sandell says he’s happy to play anywhere for Newport County AFC on his return from injury, writes Andrew Penman.
The 30-year-old came off the bench to score the crucial third goal as County beat Chesterfield 3-2 at Rodney Parade on Sunday.
It was his first competitive action for the Exiles since the 3-0 defeat at West Bromwich Albion in the Capital One Cup in August.
Since then Sandell has been sidelined by a foot injury and he’s very happy to be back ahead of schedule.
“I’m delighted to be back,” he said. “The surgeon said I probably wouldn’t be back until January so to play again on December 1 is a real bonus.
“It is frustrating to be on the sidelines and I don’t like to watch because I get nervous so I like to be away from the club when I’m injured.”
Robbie Willmott has made a big impression at left wing-back in Sandell’s absence and he knows that he won’t walk back into the side.
“I’ve watched the lads a few times since I’ve been out and they’ve done really well so I’ve got a fight on my hands to get back in the team,” he said.
“Robbie has played really well at left wing-back and he deserves the shirt at the minute, now it’s up to him to keep it.
“Me, Azza (Aaron O’Connor), Max (Porter) and Byron (Anthony) have all been out and others have come in and taken their opportunity really well.
“We’ve got to fight our way back into the team of a team that is doing really well and is three points off the top.
“If the gaffer wants me to play in a different position I will, that doesn’t bother me. I enjoy playing football so as long as I’m on the pitch I’m happy.”
That even extends to emergency goalkeeping cover, a role he filled on the bench at Oxford United last week after Jamie Stephens picked up a knock in training.
“I was reserve ‘keeper the other day and came on up front on Sunday so I don’t mind where I play it was just important to get a few minutes and work my way back in,” he said.
“I’ve played in goal a few times in training in five-a-sides and I enjoy it but thanks goodness Lenny didn’t get injured!
“I got ten minutes and got a goal against Chesterfield but I was breathing quite hard after that,” he added.
“It felt like I’d done 180! You can do all the running you want on the training pitch but game time is different.
“The more I play the better I’ll get and hopefully I can get 20 minutes at Kidderminster on Saturday.”
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