Doing simple things well will help me gain confidence and strength: Eugeneson Lyngdoh
Comebacks make for the best stories in sport precisely because they are so difficult. Eugeneson Lyngdoh knows the odds are high and it doesn’t help that he is 32. But having been forced off football with a knee injury since December 1, 2017, the midfielder can’t wait to get started. Adding an extra zing to Lyngdoh’s return is the hope that he would regain his position in the India team ahead of the Asian Cup.
“For that (returning to the India squad), I would first have to make myself available for selection for every game at my club. At the same time, I need to be a careful that I don’t overdo things. I need to keep it simple and the more I do the simple things well, I will gain in confidence and strength,” said Lyngdoh here on Saturday.
Signed by ATK for Rs 1.10 crore last season, making him the costliest along with Anas Edathodika at the Indian players’ draft, Lyngdoh was injured in the 0-0 draw away to Jamshedpur FC. He needed an anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction and could play his first competitive game in 10 months next Saturday when ATK kick-off ISL5 against Kerala Blasters.
“It was difficult watching my teammates go for training and for games while I was sat in front of a TV. I couldn’t even walk then. I surrounded myself with positive people to get through that period. Then, I began my rehab,” said the midfielder who being a late bloomer has had only 17 games for India despite being comfortable with both feet and having the vision to find teammates in the front third.
ATK coach Steve Coppell said he would treat Lyngdoh with ‘kid gloves.’ “He is a sensible human being and he knows he can’t be pushed too early. The good thing is that you can now recover 100% from ACL reconstructions. In my time, that wasn’t the case. Eugene needs minutes under his belt to build the confidence of going into a tackle and coming out of one. He will get stronger as the season goes on,” said Coppell whose career was cut short by a knee injury.
“Everything that I wanted to do last season, like playing in front of big home crowd didn’t happen because I was sidelined by a long injury. I have had a good pre-season and am looking forward to doing all that this time,” said Lyngdoh.