Glad to be back

Joe Mason feeling sharp

It’s good to be back – now for a goal!

That’s the message from Joe Mason after returning to Wolves action for the first time in over two months as a late substitute against Bristol City.

It was Mason’s clever flick which was handled by Aden Flint for the penalty converted by Ivan Cavaleiro to seal a 3-2 Wolves’ win in the Boxing Day clash with Bristol City.

A more than decent way to mark a first team return following a double hernia operation, but Mason is now focused on stepping things up as he looks to impress Head Coach Paul Lambert.

“It was nice for me to get back and I felt good out there,” said the striker.

“I felt pretty sharp even though it was my first game back.

“It was good to play a part in the penalty which led to the winning goal and hopefully I’ll get a goal myself in the next few appearances.

“I’d played half a game for the Under-23s against West Ham and then 60 minutes in a behind-closed-doors game we had last week.

“I felt better each time and then, even though it was only 12 minutes or so on Boxing Day, I feel I am getting back to my normal self.”

Mason started the season in impressive form, notching three goals in his first five appearances, but then started to struggle as the injury kicked in.

Surgery became the only option, and he is pleased to now be pain-free and looking to return to that early-season form.

“I had a double hernia operation soon after the Villa game,” says Mason.

“It took maybe a little bit longer than expected to recover from but we had to make sure it was right and I feel good now.

“I think it probably had been affected me for a few weeks before we decided to have the op and we got to the point where it needed to be done.

“I’m really pleased we have now because I am not feeling any pain at all.

“It feels a long time ago now but I did feel I had started the season well and got a few goals and I want to get back to that now.

“I’m looking forward to getting as many appearances as I can now and trying to impress the gaffer.

“With the new gaffer being in, I have to start all over again to try and impress but that is not a bad thing as it keeps standards high.

“I felt I linked up well with Jon Dadi (Bodvarsson) early in the season and now both of us are trying to get in the team.

“And whoever is in the team it is important to build a good relationship with the people you are playing alongside.

“I’ve not played with Nouha (Dicko) yet, and it’s great to see him back, and he will be able to stretch defences.

“It is good for the gaffer to have different players for different options and we need to respond by scoring goals.”

Mason also feels he is coming back into a team which is full of confidence and spirit heading into the New Year.

QPR are next up, at Molineux on Saturday (3pm).

“It’s great to win a couple of games on the bounce which hasn’t happened for a while,” he says.

“We need to try and keep that going and the next aim for me now is a goal.

“I think there is a good spirit here now as well to keep moving forward.

“It takes a while when a new gaffer comes in to implement what he wants but we all know what is expected now.

“You could see that from the first half on Boxing Day.

“I was looking on from the bench and thought it was a really good performance from the lads and it was so disappointing to go in behind at half time.

“There are enough games to pick up a lot of points over the second half of the season.

“With the position we are in we can’t say we are going to be here or there but things are looking brighter now.”