A late 3-2 defeat wasn’t the result he wanted, but John Dunn was relieved to finally make his Edinburgh City comeback against Clyde last Saturday after four months on the sidelines with a broken foot.
The midfielder played for the first time since the 3-0 defeat at Stenhousemuir at the end of September – previous manager Gary Jardine’s last match in charge. James McDonaugh took the reigns shortly afterwards, and Dunn admitted the lengthy lay-off couldn’t have come at a worse time.
“The timing was an absolute nightmare,” said the 30-year-old. “It was obviously Gary’s last game so the new manager came in and it was terrible for me. I didn’t have the opportunity to show what I was capable of in those months.
“It was just really hard watching at the side, not being able to help out. I was also aware that the manager probably didn’t know that much about me so I just had to be really patient, wait until I could get back training then try and force my way back in to the team.
“It was brilliant to be back playing. It was four months in total which is definitely the longest I’ve been injured in my career. It was dampened a wee bit by losing, especially with the late goal.”
Dunn revealed he spoke with McDonaugh shortly after his appointment, but that was as much as he could do at that point. The team-spirit fostered among the squad however, made his time out slightly easier to deal with.
“I had a wee chat with him when he first came in,” he explained. “It was pretty brief though and to be fair to him he probably had more pressing things on his mind and knew I was going to be out long term.
“The last month or so since I’ve been back training I’ve had conversations with him so it’s been good to find out a bit more about the style of play he wants from the team so it’s been good to be back involved.
“The first month or two was fine really. I’d kind of just accepted that it was going to be a long injury but even to just be back involved in light training with the team was great. The squad were brilliant as well, they were chatting away to me. I’d still go to training and stuff like that but I would end up just spending hours in the gym. It’s only when you get back on the training pitch and on the pitch on a Saturday that you can really feel like you’re back involved.”
Aside from one slightly concerning moment against Clyde, Dunn has suffered no reaction to the injury and expects to be fine for Peterhead’s visit to Ainslie Park tomorrow. “I’m feeling okay actually,” he insisted. “There was one moment on Saturday when I got to the byeline and the guy blocked my cross and kind of followed through accidentally on to my previously injured foot.
“To begin with I thought I’d maybe injured it again although not quite as seriously. I took a knock on it but managed to run it off so it was probably quite a good test. They always say it’ll take the first bad challenge before you’re really confident on it again, so hopefully that will be good for me in a way.”
The Blue Toon arrive in Edinburgh having beaten City 3-0 home and away already this season. However, having lost their previous two games 1-0 to Clyde and league leaders Montrose, City will believe a result is possible with the right performance.
“Peterhead will be a tough one,” said Dunn. “I missed the away game in December but I was there when we played them previously at Ainslie Park and it was a heavy defeat. We didn’t do ourselves justice.
“Obviously the team and the club has changed since then. Peterhead have a fair bit of stability looking at their squad. They’re solid at the back and have some really good attacking players so we need to be on top of our game to get something from the match.”