Positive thinking the key for Wimbledon's Djilali
Kieran Djilali may have spent four months on the AFC Wimbledon treatment table, but his positive outlook on life never wavered.
The 21-year-old has suffered a horrendous time with injury since joining the Dons in August, making only seven appearances before last Saturday.
But, against Dagenham & Redbridge at Kingsmeadow, all his frustrations at sitting on the sidelines since November 5 were channelled into a 26-minute substitute performance that saw him score the winner and give the Dons their first win in eight games.
That was followed by victory against Bradford City on Tuesday to all but guarantee Football League status for next season and Djilali, who ran straight to the bench to celebrate his goal on Saturday, insisted the negativity surrounding the club seven days ago never got to him.
"I have always looked at it positively," he said.
"I could not believe there has been a bit of negativity around the club given its nine-year history and five promotions.
"At some stage we were going to have a difficult patch but we have shown this week we have the character to come through it and we did come through it.
"The celebration was toward everyone - Mike Rayner the physio, the gaffer Terry Brown who bought me here when other people didn't want me, Stuart Cash and Simon Bassey for all the work they put in, to all the boys on the bench and to the whole team just for us to be united again.
"We have been a bit disjointed and there has been a bit of negativity around the club but we were only ever going to get out of the situation if we stuck together, so my celebration was just for us to be positive and stick together."
Djilali's injury hell this season was caused by twice tearing his left hamstring and once tearing his right and saw him spend a week at the sports injury rehabilitation centre in Lilleshall trying to fix the problems.
"It's been my worse season I can think of," he said.
"We have altered a lot of things, such as my posture, so, hopefully, the worst is behind me.
"I went to Lilleshall and it was hard work but it really helped me and it was good for someone else to have a look at me and give me a different opinion.
"They worked closely with Mike when I came back, about what things I should do and what would help and happily I can get back on the pitch now.
"We have 10 games left and, hopefully, I can make a big contribution and gets some goals, some assists and some good performances."