Kane Crichlow has set his sights on rejoining the first-team squad after making his comeback from injury yesterday.
The 19-year-old forward was taken to Austria for pre-season by Javi Gracia and was training with Quique Sánchez Flores' group when he broke his ankle in a session at the end of September.
The Bermuda youth international made his first steps on the road to recovery yesterday by playing the final 25 minutes of the Under-23s' 4-1 win over Colchester United and now wants to get himself in the sort of form that catches the eye of Head Coach Nigel Pearson.
“I need to get more minutes for the 23s and get into this starting team first,” he said. “I'm playing catch up with my goals as Joe Hungbo has got loads, but I want to get back with the first team as that's where I left off before I got injured. I feel good. It's been a while since I've been on the pitch, so it's great to be back as quick as I was.”
Crichlow looked sharp and was eager to find work against the U's, regularly coming off the right wing and playing one lovely incisive pass to find Isaac Success on the other flank.
“I did some good things but there is always room for improvement,” said the summer signing from AFC Wimbledon, “like getting my shot off quicker. You get injured and it puts you on the back foot so this was a good work out for me.”
“There has been a lot of hard work gone in during the recovery process,” he said. “I've been training extra hard with Callum Sharpin and I feel a lot fitter than I was back then. Cal, Josh Cornick and Rob Sharps took good care of me and I'm really grateful. Chalobah and his girl took me in when I was injured and have given me some positive support, too. I appreciate it all.”
Crichlow got a glimpse of the level he needs to get to by playing alongside Success on Monday. The Nigerian terrorized Colchester at times and his pace and power was too much for the young U's to handle.
“He's a good player,” said Crichlow. “He's a beast and the way he drives at opponents is scary to be honest. He'll just run you over if you get in his way. It was a good experience playing with him and Tom Dele-Bashiru.”