SWINDON Town midfielder John Goddard is ready to put his injury woes behind him and make an impact in David Flitcroft’s first XI.

The 24-year-old, who is one of the few squad members remaining from last season, was named in the starting XI for Swindon Town’s trip to Carlisle United on the opening day of the campaign.

Since that day in August, Goddard has been struggling with a foot problem, an injury which has seen him be restricted to just 66 minutes league football.

However, the former Woking man, who revealed he was on crutches after that game, says he feels good and ready for himself to be in contention.

“It has been very frustrating because I actually finished the game at Carlisle, to complete the 90 minutes you just think it is a knock,” said Goddard, who made 48 appearances last year.

“It took a little bit longer than we thought it would to heal and I was trying everything to get back fit quickly.

“I had an injection in it, the medical staff were working hard but it was just one of those things that took a bit longer.

“To be back out there and be amongst the team, training, is great and hopefully I can come in to contribute now.

“I feel really good, this is my third or fourth week of training now, we have been building up my fitness and coming off the bench helps with that.”

Like Swindon, this weekend’s hosts Mansfield Town have had problems with consistency, but while Steve Evans has assembled a physical group at the One Call Stadium, Goddard is fully aware that he and his teammates will have to be ready for a number of threats posed by their opponents.

After a brief taste of the action in the last two games, Goddard is determined to help the cause and says the players have put in the work on the training field, to avenge last week’s last-gasp defeat to Cheltenham Town.

“I’ve settled back into the side and hopefully I can provide something a little bit different which we need,” added Goddard.

“Last week we were disappointed by the way we performed as a group and I think the level of performance was better in the second half.

“I think the clear message from last week was the pressure we invited onto us, if we can eradicate those fouls and set-pieces it would be good, because a lot of teams use them effectively.

“Mansfield have a strong squad and I think it is regarded in the league that they will be up there towards the end of the season.

“They’re a physical group of players and set pieces will be crucial to them, we will try and stop that but they have other strings to their bow as well.

“They’ll be a threat, as will we, so it’s an interesting game.”