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Jermaine: "It's good to be back"

16 February 2014

Grandison believe that Town can push up the league

After nearly 12 months on the sidelines, defender Jermaine Grandison has declared "it's good to be back" after completing 90 minutes against Port Vale on Saturday.

The defender's previous start came in April last year in a two-nil defeat for Shrewsbury against Bournemouth at the Greenhous Meadow.

That proved to a difficult afternoon for the 22 year old who was substituted in the second half after aggravating a previous hip injury. He didn't play again that season. 

Then after rejecting a contract offer from Town in the summer, it appeared unlikely he would pull on a blue-and-amber shirt again. But after successful surgery on his injury, Grandison had a re-think and agreed a deal until the end of the season under previous boss Graham Turner.

Now after lengthy rehabilitation, and three substitute appearances, caretaker-manager Mike Jackson decided it was right to throw Grandison back into the heart of the Town defence, and he helped keep a clean sheet in a goalless draw against Vale.

"My last reserve game was more than two months ago where I played 60 minutes and I haven't had a match since," said Grandison.

"My fitness level isn't there at the moment but I was happy to get through the 90 minutes against Vale. I did get a bit of cramp in my calf for the last 10 minutes but it felt really good to be out there. I really enjoyed myself and it's good to be back."

The popular defender admits it's been a tough 12 months but he's now hoping he can step up his fitness and help Town ensure League One survival in the remaining 15 games.

"The last year has been really stressful for me," he admitted. "I was doing well last season and my hips started playing up. It's been a tough year but to get back on the pitch now is great.

"Things didn't help with the contract situation last summer but as soon as I knew I was coming back to the club, I couldn't wait to start working hard and get my fitness back up.

"The physio Chris Skitt has been really helpful. Ever since my operation he's been there supporting me and encouraging me to work hard and do my exercises in the gym."

Grandison, who said he was "buzzing" when he heard he was playing against Vale, only found out he was in the team on the morning of the match.  He was one of five changes made by Jackson, who also tried a new look formation with three central-defenders. And with teams around Town dropping points on Saturday, Grandison is hoping the draw will kick-start Town's season.

"It's a good point and could be important at the end of the season," he said. "If you get clean sheets, you've got a better chance of winning the game. We just need to start getting more goals. We can definitely get out of it, we've got good players within the squad, everyone is still confident as we've got a lot of games to go."

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