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Archives for November 2009

Thinking of the future

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Michael Gray | 10:45 UK time, Thursday, 26 November 2009

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It was nice to get back on the pitch last Saturday after four weeks away from first-team action. I was out injured for a fortnight and then we had the two-week international break. I was really pleased to complete 90 minutes at Ipswich and I felt stronger, more comfortable and more confident as the match, a hard-fought 0-0 draw which could have gone either way, went on.

It was end-to-end in the second half but there weren't too many clear-cut chances. It was nice to get a point though because it was the kind of game Wednesday might have ended up losing late last season by giving away a silly freak goal or something. Credit has to go to our goalkeeper, Lee Grant, and our back four because they did a tremendous job in difficult conditions.

We had a card-happy ref and three of our back four were booked in the first 20 minutes. It was a bit of a concern with three defenders on a yellow card but the lads showed real discipline to make sure they stayed on the pitch.

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My (brief) England career

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Michael Gray | 08:16 UK time, Friday, 20 November 2009

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Having had a break from domestic fixtures, we have all been focused on international football and I think now is a good opportunity to reflect on the way things are going for England.

I have to say that Fabio Capello has done an amazing job as England coach. The Italian seems to have instilled confidence into every player who has played for him.

Yet there is also the fear factor that you don't want to be the person in the team who slips up because he is the kind of person who can come down on you like a ton of bricks.

Capello has got England playing really well. The first time people really sat up and took notice was when we beat Croatia 4-1 away from home in World Cup qualifying. Having been humbled by Croatia in the Euro 2008 qualifiers, it just showed how far England had come in a short period of time.

Capello's England were first class from the first World Cup qualifying game to the last.

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Getting shirty with Cristiano Ronaldo

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Michael Gray | 07:00 UK time, Thursday, 12 November 2009

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After a couple of weeks in the treatment room with the humiliation of a biscuit tin on my backside and being run ragged by the physios, I've been back on the training pitch this week. What a relief!

It's brilliant to be back in training and winding up the rest of the lads - I'm sure they've missed me. Not that all of the lads need winding up, some of them can't help humiliating themselves. So imagine my delight when a ball flew from nowhere to flatten Darren Potter's nose across his face!

We were all pretty worried for a while because the blood poured out of his nose and across his top lip. There was real concern amongst the lads that there could be permanent damage to the tache. Thankfully, Potts has recovered and after careful surgery all of the dried blood was removed from his prize tache. He's hoping to have the Freddie Mercury look perfected by the new year.

Anyway, I gave you the first half of the team of the best players I've played against last week so here is the midfield and attack...

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My rehab with the biscuit tin

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Michael Gray | 11:12 UK time, Thursday, 5 November 2009

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It's been an intensive week of rehab for me and I am hoping to be in contention for Saturday's match against QPR.

I'm really pleased with the progress I've made with this hamstring strain. I've been out running for four days now, with full training and matches very close on the horizon.

I've seen more than enough of the physio and I've had more massages than you could imagine! The pain I've had has been in quite a weird area - right in my backside - and a lot of my rehab has involved a piece of equipment that I call a biscuit tin.

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