Saturday, 18 February 2012

Everton Hold Little Fear For Southern

 
The prospect of a pasting at Everton holds little fear for Blackpool’s Keith Southern because he has battled through a cancer scare.

Southern returns to his first club today having endured a nightmare few months that saw him have a tumour removed from one of his testicles.

The midfielder was left fearing the worst after the op in November, but was recently given the all-clear.

He said: “I couldn’t walk or drive for a month. I had no option but to stay put.

“I’ve just been sat with my little ’un in the living room for a few weeks.


"I was sick to death of Fireman Sam.

“It wasn’t easy, but here we are and I’m back fit and healthy. Physically I’ve always felt OK, it’s just the mental side of it that was really difficult.”

Southern made his return to first-team action in Blackpool’s fourth round victory over Sheffield Wednesday. And now he is geared up for a trip down memory lane by heading back to the club that gave him his footballing start.

He failed to make the breakthrough at Everton but has no regrets on calling time on his stint at Goodison Park in 2002.

He said: “Some of me thinks ‘What if?’ But I don’t like looking back and regretting things. For one reason or another – injuries or possibly not being good enough –I didn’t make it.

“It was difficult to leave but I was 21 and I just wanted to play football. I had come back from a cruciate knee injury and just got myself fit in David Moyes’ first season at the club.

“I played in some pre-season games and went on tour with them to Austria. I thought I might get an opportunity, but it wasn’t to be.

“I have no regrets. I have had a fantastic career with Blackpool. They have given me a great standard of living and a really good career.

“I remember being told Blackpool wanted me on loan and I didn’t even know what league they were in.

“But I thought it was a chance to get out and play some football. I was 21 and I needed to make something of my career. If I waited and waited the opportunity might have gone.

“I had a year left on my contract and when Blackpool came in for me on a permanent basis in the November, it was a no-brainer.”

Blackpool head to Merseyside without a defeat in 2012 and sitting in fourth place in the Championship.

And Southern added: “We go as underdogs but have no fear and will give a good account of ourselves.

"There is no reason why we can’t turn them over.”

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