Published: 00:00, 05 November 2015
Ricky Modeste admits he got a pleasant surprise from boss Chris Kinnear when he walked out to inspect the pitch at Tranmere’s Prenton Park on Saturday.
Kinnear asked the winger if he was fit to play – Modeste didn’t waste any time in replying “Yes, gaffer”.
It was Modeste’s first start of an injury-hit season and he admitted he didn’t know he was in contention to make the side.
Modeste, who had made just five appearances as a substitute this season before the trip to Birkenhead, said: “I had no idea, to be honest, because I had missed Thursday’s training as I was sick – a lot of lads have been of late.
“At best I thought I would be on the bench, so it was great to be asked if I was up for it.
“The gaffer didn’t need to ask me twice.”
Modeste hadn’t started a game since the final game of last season, a 0-0 draw at Forest Green Rovers in April, and that brought the curtain down on a frustrating year.
He missed almost five months after damaging ankle ligaments and was hoping for a better season this time around.
It didn’t go to plan, though, with Modeste, who in April signed a new one-year deal to stay at Crabble, sidelined in August after injuring his ankle slipping on a drain cover at training.
That ruled him out until last month and now he’s hoping his run of time on the sidelines is firmly behind him.
He said: “I hope so because it has been so frustrating. I worked so hard over summer to be right to go after last season’s nightmare and then I get injured again.
“Football is so cruel at times, but there’s nothing you can do about it other than take your opportunities when they come.
“Now I got a start at Tranmere, I’d love to have a decent run in the side – I’d love to make up for lost time.
“But you’ve got to be realistic in this game and not look too far ahead.
“I am just going to take it one game at a time and focus on doing well in that game – you cannot afford to lose sight of that.”