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George's Vow

PUBLISHED

17:00 23rd May 2013

Elokobi continuing to work

George Elokobi today insisted Wolves will “put things right” and get people “smiling again” – as he vowed to move on from a nightmare season which ended in relegation.

It was also a hugely difficult campaign for Elokobi having sustained an horrific injury – both fracturing and dislocating his ankle – on the first appearance of a loan spell with Bristol City back in September.

He has spent much of the time since in the gym at Wolves' Compton Park training ground, battling against the odds to be fit before the last campaign ended.

It was a battle he won, although he is unlikely to remember his return to the first team with much fondness.  Elokobi started the final match of the season at Brighton as Wolves' relegation to npower League One was confirmed, with the Cameroonian defender leaving the pitch in tears after applauding the travelling fans.

"The reaction at the end was me hurting as much as the fans," he says. "I'm a professional footballer, but I'm also a fan of Wolverhampton Wanderers, and it's been hard for me to be on the sidelines and unable to participate for most of the season.

"When I'm out injured, I kick and head every ball in the stands and I celebrate every goal like the fans celebrate, because I am a fan of the club. Even though everyone thought we were down before the Brighton match, football is about the 90 minutes - miracles can happen and surprises can happen.

"It all sunk in afterwards though. The reaction you saw was a mixture of emotions. It hurt to be relegated - it still hurts to talk about it now - and you also see how much it means to the fans. I know what this club means to them and it means a lot to me to see them supporting us through these bad times."

Elokobi's rehabilitation has continued into the summer, with the defender determined that next season will be more positive for both him and Wolves after the club took up the option of extending his contract by a year.

Since the end of the season he has been reporting back to Compton at regular intervals pursuing a further fitness regime to ensure he is in peak condition for the return to pre-season training.

"The one-year option is great for me as it shows that the club want me here, and at the same time it gives me security, because you never know in football," he explains. "Plenty of players get released and then struggle to find another club.

"For me to be here makes me feel wanted, and all I can do in return is continue to give my best for the club and show everyone what they've been missing while I've been out injured.

"I've been coming in after the season finished just to make sure everything is on track and I'm not coming in for pre-season still worrying about my ankle. I'm just trying to get myself fitter - I haven't played a lot of football so I don't think I should be taking an extended break."

The injury was the second serious setback of Elokobi's career - he suffered knee ligament damage in the third game of Wolves' promotion season of 2008/2009, again, ironically, returning on the final day of the season against Doncaster at Molineux.

His comeback this time around came in vastly differing circumstances, but Elokobi says he intends to take heart and belief from his latest battle back to fitness.

"When I got injured, people were telling me to forget about the rest of the season, but it shows that sometimes, if you're dedicated and passionate about something and give it your all, anything is possible - and I got myself fit and ready for the end of the season.

"It's a credit to me, to the medical staff and to the fans who have supported me, both on twitter and when I meet them face to face."

With his infectious enthusiasm still very much intact, Elokobi - who was been at Molineux for over five years - is confident that his personal battling qualities will be a characteristic of the team the lines up for the beginning of the League One season in August.

"When I do something, I do it with all my heart and with every last bit of energy that God has given me," he says.

"We will put this right - we will smile again. It's not going to be easy and the fans are all disappointed at the moment, but they'll come back supporting us next season as they always do.

"I can guarantee the fans one thing - I am not going to let this club down. The players and the new manager will do this together - we will fight to try and get the club promoted back to the Championship and then we can plan for the future."

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