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Touch wood for Weso

9 November 2012

By Tony Leighton

Oldham Athletic's Australian midfielder James Wesolowski is hoping that his injury-strewn career is heading for a fitness-filled future after stepping back into the Latics team and ticking off 12 successive appearances for the npower League 1 club.

The former Leicester City and Peterborough United player has endured an unfortunate number of injuries including twice breaking a leg, sustaining a fractured ankle, dislocating a shoulder, several times, and various muscle pulls and strains.

Since turning professional in the summer of 2004, he has averaged fewer than 20 League appearances per season in a career that has included loan spells at Cheltenham Town and Scottish clubs Dundee United and Hamilton Academicals.

"I've had a few injuries in my time," 25-year-old Wesolowski told with a note of understatement. "Over the last few seasons I've been in and out - I've probably had half a season fit and then half a season out injured.

"At the start of this season I had a little hamstring strain and missed a few games, but thankfully it was nothing serious. I'm back out there now and hopefully this year can be the one where I get a full season under my belt.

"Playing regular football would certainly be nice and it's important to me to be doing that and staying fit. When you're playing in the centre of midfield as I do you have to be 100 per cent fit, otherwise you might get shown up.

"When I was younger I was maybe a bit reckless and I'd go into tackles without thinking and sometimes get injured. Now, with more experience, you sort of know the ones where it's worth going in and you're going to win the ball.

"You also know the ones where you've got a chance of getting injured. I've learned that and I'm picking my tackles. So it's just a case of looking after myself properly off the pitch, doing the right things on it and - touch wood - staying injury-free."

Oldham boss Paul Dickov, who saw his team slip from Play-Off contention to a 16th-place finish last term after a January injury forced Wesolowski to miss the last three months of the campaign, will certainly be hoping that his midfield man stays fit.

The Latics are currently 18th in the table but Wesolowski, his confidence growing with each successive appearance, is sure that he and his colleagues will climb much higher. "It's just a case of everyone gelling," he said.

"In the first few games of the season we weren't getting the results, but I thought we were playing some good football. It was just a case of everyone getting to know each other's game, and I think that's starting to happen now.

"The current position in the table doesn't really do justice to the way we've been playing. I think that with the squad we've got at the moment - and certainly if we can keep it together - we will definitely finish a lot higher than where we are now."

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