It’d been a long wait for a goal for David Turnbull before Wednesday night’s 2-2 draw with Livingston – but now the Motherwell midfielder can’t wait to motor on.
The talented Well star missed most of last season with a horrible knee injury following a stellar breakthrough campaign in 2018/19. In that term, he scored 16 goals with seven assists.
His last before Wednesday night came against Livingston at Fir Park in 2019 so perhaps it was fitting that it was the same setting and team for his first this term. It was a bright spot in an overall frustrating night for manager Stephen Robinson, who felt let down at full time by some players, saying his team have been playing with ‘seven men.’
For Turnbull, he’s just delighted to be back with his bread and butter, although he’s well aware of what the manager expects after a midweek dressing room discussion.
“I’m absolutely buzzing to get off the mark after the first three games in 15 months,” said Turnbull. “They are the moments you want to get after all the hard work and stuff you have been through.
“That’s the best part of it really, back to what I was doing best, scoring goals. “I hope I can kick on and get more and help the team out. I’m feeling very fit. I came back fit after lockdown and got back up to speed.
“The gaffer has given me the chance in the first few games and I feel I am doing well, I just need to kick on. The manager wasn’t happy, he had a wee pop at some of the boys. Probably right enough after the results we have had. But that will just spur boys on to work harder and play better.”
Long road back
It was a difficult period for Turnbull last term. After a seven-figure move to Celtic fell through last summer, the midfielder then had to undergo surgery and watch from the sidelines, unable to build on 18/19’s successes.
He got 36 minutes last term before the football shutdown, allowing him to have one final piece of surgery to take pins out of his knee. Having that procedure early meant Turnbull was able to rest and recover from it before pre-season.
Robinson’s started him in all three matches so far, looking better and better every game. He says his lockdown surgery helped him get back for pre-season as he reflected on that period.
“I’d say I’m 100%,” said Turnbull. “The lockdown helped me as I had my second operation and I rested for four weeks straight. I didn’t have to do anything else and that helped me.
“Probably because nobody was in or nobody was playing. I spoke to the gaffer and he said if you’re fit enough and good enough to train you’ll play. The first few weeks I was finding my sharpness, and now I’ve played the first few games, I feel brilliant.
“The gaffer tells us we need to be on it. The first few games we’ve played really well but just struggling to get the results. I feel as if we are creating the chances and playing well as a team.”