I want to repay Sheffield Wednesday fans' faith in goals, says Sam Winnall
Sam Winnall says he is getting '˜stronger every day' as theÂ Sheffield Wednesday striker continues his recovery from serious injury.
Winnall was on loan at Derby County for much of last season but while there the 27 year old suffered an ACL injury which ended his campaign in February.
The loan arrangement at Pride Park came about as his chances of playing regularly up front for the Owls looked increasingly slim under then boss Carlos Carvalhal.
Now, though, Winnall is back at Hillsborough and aiming to get fit and get back amongst the goals.
'Competition up top is high at Wednesday with the amount of quality strikers we've got and the old management had clear favourites too,' he said in an interview with old club Barnsley's official website.
'But I'm not one to be happy on a bench. When I'm available, I want to play every minute of every game.Â
'I don't think that was possible under the old management at the club. So when the chance came to go out on loan I was very keen on the idea. But the Wednesday fans have been amazing with me ever since I've joined, even when I was out on loan they've always wished me well and wanted me to succeed, I hope when I'm back fit I can repay that faith they've shown in me with goals.
'I was loving my time at Derby though until the injury. There is never a good time to have an injury like this one but that felt extra hard as I was playing well and we were flying high in the table.Â
'But sometimes you have to play the cards your dealt and I've had to be mentally strong and work hard to come back even better than I was before. But I'm on course to come back at the initial stage we predicted and I'm feeling stronger as every day passes, so I'll soon be back scoring tap-ins!'
In a wide ranging interview ahead of Barnsley match against Scunthorpe, two of Winnall's former clubs, the striker spoke about scoring for Wednesday against the Reds at Oakwell and THAT celebration.
'I think that goal was pure emotion. I'd been given a lot of stick in the months building up to the game on social media and in person to my face at times.
'I went into the game thinking if I do score, I don't have to hold back for anyone.Â
'And then obviously the toy pig was thrown onto the pitch early on (which I actually found quite funny afterwards in fairness). So when I did score I couldn't help but release all the emotion that had built up inside me and went mental.Â
'Every goal I score I'm over the moon with, so I think it would have been impossible to stay cool in that situation given the abuse I'd received. But that's who I am as a player, I wear my heart on my sleeve. I probably didn't realise the backlash I would receive from it though!'