Whitby Town goalkeeper Jack Norton is ready to put his injury frustrations behind him as he continues his return to fitness.
Norton has endured a torrid season to date with a spell out injured and then having to watch on-loan gloveman Adam McHugh command the number one shirt at the club.
McHugh has returned to his parent club Bishop Auckland and Norton is hoping his injury concerns are behind him as he looks to kick on at the Turnbull Ground.
“I have had to remain patient because the injuries have been consistent, but now the pain has passed I’m ready to take advantage and start pushing myself again,” said Norton.
“It has been very frustrating.
“It’s been a bit different for me because I’ve never missed this many games through injury.”
Many players would have voiced their concern at being ousted to the bench, but Norton insists that he understands manager Chris Hardy’s decision to stick with McHugh in recent matches.
He added: “I totally agree with the gaffer’s decision to keep Adam in between the sticks.
“Being number two to Adam hasn’t actually been a hard thing to deal with.
“Obviously Adam had come in on loan and for me he’s done his job as well as anyone else in the team, so it’s more a case of understanding that you can’t come straight back and walk into a team when the person in that position is performing to a high standard.
“That on top of the fact I probably wouldn’t have been sharp or fit enough with limited training to step back in straight away anyway, it’s fair enough.”
Norton is now solely focussed on putting a run of consistent performances in in the number one shirt going forward.
He added: “The injuries have fully cleared up now and the last week or so has consisted of just building my fitness back up and getting some sharpness back.
“It’s always important to put in good performances, as a goalkeeper I think one of the biggest things is consistency as it breeds confidence in the lads in front of him, which is always a good starting block.
“So I’ll just concentrate on doing my job to the best of my ability and hopefully that’s good enough for the gaffer and the rest of the coaching staff.”