Alan Gow will be hoping to get more game time under his belt when Exeter City take on Wycombe Wanderers at St James’ Park in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy tonight (7.15pm).
The 30-year-old Glaswegian made a match-winning impact as a substitute in the Grecians’ 2-1 win over York City at the weekend and, with John O’Flynn limping out of that game with a hamstring injury, Gow is poised to play from the start tonight.
“I haven’t had many minutes on the pitch, but that’s one of those things in football,” Gow said. “People forget that I’ve only played one 90 minutes since January because I had a serious injury when I ruptured my ankle.
“I probably came back a bit early and I played in the last game of the season and that’s the only full game I’ve played since the end of January.
“It has taken me a while to get fit, but I’ve been working hard on my days off to get fit, so hopefully it pays off. I’m not fit yet, I know that, but once I get fully fit then I know I can play well.”
Gow is yet to start a League game for the Grecians and his lack of match action led to some fans questioning his worth to the club, with manager Paul Tisdale opting to start the season with O’Flynn and Sam Parkin up front.
However, Gow took less than 20 seconds to notch after replacing O’Flynn on Saturday to silence one or two doubters in the crowd. The rest were duly hushed when he smashed an unstoppable winner to make it three wins from three for Exeter in home League Two games this season.
“I don’t really care what anybody thinks about me, to be honest, I just go out and play football and try and enjoy it. It’s just one of those things,” Gow said.
“If someone hasn’t played for four or five months, it’s a long time. It’s the first time in my career I’ve missed that amount of months and it’s hard to come back to it, but I’ve been working hard with the physio to make sure my ankle is strong enough.
“I think the manager and the coaches know that I’m a good player. They don’t doubt that I have ability, but maybe some people question my fitness.
“I’ve been working hard on that and that is all you can do. You can only play what you are given, so, if I play ten minutes or an hour, that’s life.”
However, his introduction on Saturday will certainly live long in the memory and Gow could not have dreamed of a better impact. “I was obviously happy to be on the pitch and take the chances I got. I was a bit tired at the end because I haven’t played much football,” he added.
“Things always happen in football and you have to make sure you’re ready. You may only get one chance in a game, but I wasn’t really going to miss a one-on-one with my stronger foot.
“The second one was one of the best I’ve scored for a while, that’s for sure.
“I have scored a few early ones, actually, just like that with my first touch at various clubs throughout my career. But it was good to come on and have that kind of introduction, and going on to win the game was obviously the most important thing.”
It is a break from League action tonight, though, with Exeter looking to progress in the Trophy. They exited at the first-round stage last season to Aldershot Town, who won a penalty shoot-out at St James’ Park. Supporters are reminded that the game kicks off at the earlier time of 7.15pm.