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Ahead of schedule

8 December 2016

Notts County forward Jon Stead has praised the club's physios after returning to action sooner than expected.

The forward suffered an ankle injury in mid-October but came off the bench in Sunday's Emirates FA Cup draw against Peterborough United before scoring twice for the reserves in midweek.

Stead's prompt return comes as a reward for his commitment to the cause - although he couldn't have done it without the help of staff.

He said: "I've worked really hard with the physios - long days, which footballers aren't used to!

"I've given it everything to try and come back as quickly as possible and I'm a couple of weeks ahead of schedule, which is fantastic. Credit to the staff for pushing me on.

"I'm a little bit rusty - it's a strange feeling being on a football pitch after being out for a while. I've not had a great deal of training but to get something out of the Peterborough game was a nice way to mark my return.

"I played the first 45 minutes for the reserves on Tuesday and felt better again - closer to being at my best.

"I just want to carry on from where I left off before I got injured. I was having a good season so I just want that to continue."

Frustratingly for Stead, the front man has been helpless to prevent a disappointing run of results in Sky Bet League Two.

But, while he accepts improvements have to be made, the 33-year-old certainly isn't panicking about the Magpies' fortunes.

He said: "We can easily turn our form around. Teams right across the division have had good spells and bad spells, and they've come in chunks. Very few have been consistent over the course of the season.

"We've still got an opportunity to get back in the mix and that's definitely something we feel we can do."

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