Jonny Williams is desperate to repay the faith shown in him by Sunderland and manager Chris Coleman – and has revealed he is close to being back to his best.
Williams has made an instant impact on his return to the first-team fold after a shoulder injury, picked up when the Black Cats took on Millwall back in November.
That game was a day before Coleman officially took charge, and he has had to do without a player who he knew well from his time as Wales boss.
Now nearing full fitness, Williams’ goal against Middlesbrough showed the attributes he brings to the side, a superbly taken first time finish that caught Darren Randolph and his defence unawares.
There were also a number of positive forward runs, drawing one foul right on the edge of the area.
He is a player who Coleman says can bring a ‘spark’ to the team, and the 24-year-old feels he is fit and somewhere near his best form.
“It has happened to me a couple of times. Managers have shown faith in me to perform like I did against Middlesbrough but the injuries have meant I’ve not been able to,” he said.
“I didn’t come here to be on the physio’s table and I want to be out there.
“I didn’t really know what to do with my celebration to be honest, it has been a while and there has been a lot of frustration.”
“I came here wanting to play as many games as possible and I was devastated to get that injury and miss a chunk of the season.
“I want to be playing every game from now until the end of the season. I felt I was close to my best. The physios have been brilliant and I feel great.
“Though I dislocated my shoulder last time we played against Millwall so we’ll see how it goes this weekend.”
Coleman has a big decision to make over the make up of his midfield for the trip to the Den on Saturday.
Paddy McNair is out injured but Ovie Ejaria is in contention to return alongside Williams, with the Liverpool trainee playing a full part in training yesterday.