John O'Flynn delighted to be back in action for Exeter City
Exeter City striker John O'Flynn was delighted to play his first 90 minutes in over two months against Bradford City last Saturday and hopes the hamstring injury that has recently plagued him is now a thing of the past.
The 30-year-old former Barnet hit-man was preferred to 20-gioal top goalscorer Jamie Cureton against the Bantams and he rewarded manager Paul Tisdale's faith in him with a selfless performance full of running and endeavour.
And it was the first time since January 12, when the Irishman netted a brace in the 3-0 win over Southend United, that he got through a full 90 minutes with his efforts on Saturday rewarded with the fourth and final goal in Exeter's 4-1 success.
"I've been feeling good and have been dying to get out on to the pitch and play a full game," O'Flynn said. "It was a huge disappointment starting at Bristol [Rovers] and coming off at half-time and I have had a few cameo appearances, but it was great to start and finish a game and cap it off with a goal."
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Manager Paul Tisdale has been patient in ensuring O'Flynn was 100 per cent ready to make his return despite the Irishman returning to his homeland to speed up his recovery.
That saw him enter a cryogenic chamber, in which he had to enter three times in minute-long spells at temperatures of minus-ten Celsius, minus-60 and minus-110.
The injury could not have come at a worse time for O'Flynn, who also suffered a nasty head wound against the Bantams. He had been in such great form for Exeter prior to the injury, but he was back to his energetic best at the weekend with his goal taking him up to 12 for the campaign.
"My legs were aching, but my head was aching more!" he joked. "Tis sent out a team full of energy and I think we showed that and gave the fans something to shout about.
"When I got a bang on the head, I felt a bit sick, so it was good to get in at half-time. I felt better in the second half and it was good to be back and get 90 minutes under my belt and it was great to get a home win.
"We had to weather the storm in many ways – both the weather and their storm – but we have shown great resilience lately, especially Pat [Baldwin] and [Danny] Colesy, who have been keeping it tight.
"A 4-1 scoreline was great for the fans and it was great for our home form as well."
The win sets Exeter up nicely for their trip to fellow promotion hopefuls and big spenders Rotherham United on Saturday, where manager Tisdale will again have to be at his tactical best to mastermind a result.
O'Flynn has the utmost respect for the City chief, whose wise team selections and game plans in recent weeks have yielded results against many of Exeter's promotion rivals such as Southend, Port Vale, Northampton, Gillingham and now Bradford.
"I think lately, he has been spot on," O'Flynn said. "It was a great win at Port Vale and he set us up perfectly with the game plan and against Bradford, he set us up again with a game plan, so credit to him because he is pulling all the strings really.
"We are at the business end of the season and everything seems positive. We have had a few injuries and some big losses with Matty [Oakley] and Docs [Tommy Doherty] was playing unbelievably before he got injured, but we bought the lad Lawson [D'Ath] in and he looked class.
"Tis is doing the right things and hopefully we can continue this because, as I say, it's the business end of the season now."
O'Flynn also feels Exeter have an advantage over many other teams in League Two with their fitness levels. "I think we are definitely a fit team," he said. "The lads have been saying for the last ten, 15, 20 minutes of games, we seem a lot fitter than some teams.
"That can only be a good thing and it should hold us in good stead for the remaining seven games of the season."