Marley Watkins spoke to the assembled media at Oakwell today...
Having sat out the last three matches following his dismissal against Nottingham Forest, Marley expressed his delight to be back in contention for tomorrow’s game at Cardiff City.
He said: “I’m really happy to be back, I’ve been doing lots of running while suspended so it’s going to be good to be back playing on the grass. It’s been frustrating watching on but I made the mistake of giving the referee a decision to make.
“It’s actually worse being suspended rather than injured because you’re fit and able to play, but you can’t.”
Despite missing the recent fixtures, Watkins believes the Reds have done well in them, showing good form in picking up six points out of the last nine available.
“Two wins out of three in this league is brilliant form really, we’ll take that all day. The boys have been brilliant and even the performance the other night was a good one. Of course we want the results to match our performances but I felt we were unlucky against Wednesday.
“There's plenty of positives to take out of things so far I think. I’m enjoying this season, I think I’ve done well. There’s better pitches to play on, bigger grounds, better crowds. This is where you want to be. We were all striving to get to this level so we need to continue progressing.”
With a busy Christmas schedule around the corner, the Reds forward explained his routine at this time of the year and what footballers in general have to do. Much is about recovery, he says.
“Absolutely. Recovery is massive. You just take it game by game, but it’s non-stop really. It’s hectic. It’s probably more about recovery than training at this time of the season. You have to be professional though.
“I tend to take it a bit easy if I’m honest. It’s probably a boring Christmas compared to most people but you have to do it because you want to give the fans something on Boxing Day to help get them over their hangovers! But no, it’s part and parcel of the modern game isn’t it, the need to be professional. So I’ll be having my usual pasta, maybe with a bit of turkey!”
With the Reds sat in 12th position in the EFL Championship table, Watkins feels everyone at the Club should be aiming high. Whilst many would suggest that surviving in the division is the target, Marley believes the sky should be the limit.
He said: “I don’t want to sound over-confident or end up looking stupid at the end of the season but why not aim high, you know what I mean? If we can add some more consistency to our game why can’t we aim for playoffs, sneak into that top six?
“I think we’ve already shown that we can play well at this level. We’ve beaten some good teams. We’ve been unlucky on occasion too. But look at the other day, Norwich are one of the favourites in this league but we dominated them, they couldn’t get near us in the first half. So we’re confident no matter who we are playing, and Cardiff will be no different tomorrow.”
You can see the full and exclusive interview with Marley over on Barnsley Player HD.