14:11 23rd April 2013
. . . psychologist helped boost Neil's return from injury setback
Neil Taylor has revealed how he turned to a psychologist in order to help him through his injury nightmare.
Taylor took a giant step forward to capping an amazing comeback from the broken ankle which had expected to rule him out for the campaign as he was included among the substitutes against Southampton on Saturday.
The Wales international’s campaign looked to be over last September when he was stretchered off during an innocuous challenge with Sunderland’s Craig Gardner.
But his inclusion among the 18-man squad for the home clash with Saints marked his incredible recovery from that setback.
And Taylor has spoken for the first time about how he turned to sports psychologist Dr Ian Mitchell – a senior lecturer at UWIC, who also played professionally at Hereford.
“I’ve tried to explore every single avenue there is in terms of aiding my comeback,” revealed Taylor.
“I’d spoken with quite a few people within the club and I decided it would be good idea if I went to see someone (Head Physio) Kate Rees knew.
“It was all about talking about the injury, how I felt, the thought of going into a 50-50 challenge and the possibility of it happening again. But it was also about positive thinking too.
“I am mentally strong anyway, and the psychologist told me I didn’t need to see him much because he realised very early on how I am as a person.
“But it was worth it. I wanted to do every possible thing to help myself return quicker than anticipated, and that was a part of it.
“I’m glad I did it, because it has been part of the process which has got me to where I am today.”
Ever since Taylor started his journey back to full fitness, the 24-year-old has received a great deal of help and support.
And he believes his inclusion in the matchday squad against the Saints at the Liberty is the perfect thank you to everyone who has played a part in his rehabilitation.
“I’ve got a lot of people to thank for what they have done for me,” he added.
“There are far too many to mention, but it’s everyone from the paramedics that treated me straight away on the pitch to the physio team at the club that are ensuring I’m at the stage where I am right now.
“Every day since the injury I’ve had fans offering support and motivating me even more to come back stronger. I must point out that support has been so helpful and appreciated.
“I think the biggest possibly way of saying thank you to them all was to see me running out onto that pitch again, even if it was just for the warm-ups.
“Just to be included in the squad and sitting on the bench as part of the squad was a special moment.”