Everton Academy defender Con Ouzounidis has hailed the Club’s coaching and medical staff for helping him maintain a positive mindset after he suffered a foot injury.
Ouzounidis made his comeback for the Blues’ Under-18 side when they faced Chelsea in the Premier League Cup on 17 February, after more than three months out of action.
The 18-year-old Australian broke two bones in his foot, and admits the injury came as a huge blow – especially as he was in such a rich vein of form at the time.
His impressive performances for the Under-18s had seen him force his way into the Under-23 side, and boss David Unsworth even hailed him as man of the match in their win over Portsmouth just before his injury.
“Everything was great at the time, it went downhill from there!” Ouzounidis told evertonfc.com.
“I was doing well for the '18s so was getting complimented for that, tried to break into the '23s but came along and broke my foot.
“I lost my head because I was doing so well. But I spoke to a lot of other people, such as the staff, and they reassured me.
“The lads were saying, ‘You will be fine’ but I had to get the reassurance to know where you sit. When I came back from my scan I got told straight away [about the broken foot] and I was really upset. But the physios were saying, ‘Don’t worry, you will come back’, which helped a lot.”
Ouzounidis is already making up for lost time. After the Chelsea game he played 45 minutes for the Under-23s against Swansea at Goodison Park, before playing the full 90 minutes for Unsworth’s side at Leicester on Monday.
The 18-year-old says he’s relishing being back out on the pitch – admitting he became somewhat restless when sidelined.
“I got a bit bored and didn’t know what to do with myself when I was out, so it is good to be back!” he says.
“I have another game at Goodison [for the Under-23s) against Swansea on Monday. There is no pain or anything now, I feel good."