Winger's vow to return better than ever
Jordan Graham has vowed to come back from injury better, stronger and more exciting than ever – and ready to repay the faith shown in him by Wolves.
Although in the early stages of a nine to 12 month absence with a cruciate knee ligament injury, Wolves have pressed on with contract negotiations started prior to the injury and Graham has signed a new two-and-a-half year deal, with a further two-year option.
And that has given Graham added impetus to kick on with his recovery and return to action in style after completing his rehabilitation.
“It has been a crazy last few months for me personally,” says the 20-year-old winger.
“I really enjoyed getting in the team and I felt like I was contributing and doing my part and we were getting a few wins.
“The fans had taken to me, the gaffer was giving me confidence, and it was the happiest I have been in my football career so far.
“The injury was certainly not what I needed but it is football and injuries are an occupational hazard.
“It was one of those things, and it gives me a chance to work on my upper body strength and my legs, to get more power on the pitch.
“Hopefully I can come back stronger and fitter than I was before.
“I’m delighted to have signed the new contract which gives me the security to concentrate on what I need to do in the gym and look forward to coming back.
“It was kind of strange because before the Cardiff game I knew we were getting close to getting a contract sorted.
“Then the injury came and I was thinking in my head that everything would be different and I wasn’t sure what was going to happen – I’d never been in that situation before.
“But the club have shown a lot of belief in me.
“They have told me they think I am going to be fine and that I have the right mentality to work hard and come back better and stronger.
“They have put their trust in me and now I have to repay them now I have a new deal.
“I have to come back the same player if not better than before.
“For me it is quite a serious injury and a long time out but I am going to work as hard as I can.
“It has come at a bad time and it might break a lot of people but it happens, and I am grateful to have played 11 games and shown what I am capable of.
“Hopefully the fans were excited and will be excited when I am coming back and when I do I am going to be better – stronger with more skills and more assists. Wait on me!”
There had already been speculation about Graham and interest from outside such was his impact in the 12 first team appearances since breaking into the team after a successful loan spell at Oxford.
But he insists he has remained firmly and single-mindedly focused on Wolves and continuing the development made since arriving from Aston Villa 15 months ago.
“I don’t really listen to speculation or get involved in any of it – I concentrate on what I am trying to do which is to train hard every day and play to the best of my ability,” says Graham.
“You see things in the papers or on social media but I am not interested in it and my Dad just says to concentrate on what I am doing on the pitch.
“If you start getting distracted about anything in football then it is going to affect your performances on the pitch.
“Whether I was injured or not I wanted to stay at Wolves and play week-in week-out and keep improving.”
And Graham believes the future is certainly bright.
“I genuinely believe we have a strong side here which continue to get better,” he says.
“What is really pleasing for me is that it is quite a young squad here and the average age of the squad is quite low for a Championship club.
“That shows the gaffer puts his trust in young players and that is good for people like Kortney and myself as we can all click.
“We have the older players here like Kemes (Carl Ikeme) and Eddo (Dave Edwards) who have been here for a while and know what is going on and bring good experience.
“Then there is myself and Korts (Kortney Hause) and Dom (Iorfa) who need that advice and help and it is a good balance that we have.
“I don’t think this season it has really clicked for the whole season which shows in our position in the league – we believe we are a lot better than a mid table team.
“If it doesn’t happen this season then next season if we play as we know we can we can give it a right good go.”
Hopefully the fans were excited and will be excited when I am coming back and when I do I am going to be better