Danny Higginbotham: Great news that Wilson is on his marks for Potters return
THERE are some out there who might think I'd have a grudge against Marc Wilson because he ultimately took my place at Stoke.
Not a bit of it. As a pro, you accept that will happen to you at some point, just as it provided opportunities for you earlier in your career.
So believe you me, I'm as delighted as anyone that Marc is close to making his first-team return.
Any player who's been through a long injury lay-off, like I have, can only wish the best for a player like Marc coming back to fitness after a broken leg.
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He seemed to fall into the left-back spot when I suffered my cruciate knee injury back in April 2011, but he did well and went from strength to strength.
By the time I was fit again, he'd made the left-back position his own.
All credit must go to him for the way he slotted in there. I'm sure if you asked him, left-back wouldn't be his ideal position, but he realises you play where you can.
One man's misfortune is certainly another's fortune, and for me to miss out on a Wembley semi-final and final in the FA Cup after damaging my knee was probably the low point of my career.
I wouldn't wish it on anyone, but to see Willo then shift over to left-back, allowing Andy Wilkinson to take up his position at right-back, was some crumb of comfort.
That's because Wilko is Stoke through and through, and he took his chance brilliantly to go on and establish himself in the team in recent years.
Of course, there'll be no Wembley for Stoke this year after their cup exit to Manchester City, but at least that defeat has given them a short break to recharge their batteries ahead of the final third of the season.
Not that they will have had their feet up all the time. I'm sure Paul "Maxi" Maxwell, the fitness coach, will have run them into the ground this week before they got a few days off.
I recall when I was at Stoke hearing lads from other clubs saying they had a nice extended weekend off coming up.
Not us. You could guarantee we would get a few days off during the week, but on the very few occasions I ever remember having a weekend free, we would be in at 9am on a Saturday to be run to death before having the rest of the day and Sunday off.
What you would have given to come in on Friday and then hear the manager say, "See you Monday." If only!
I HEAR Jose Mourhino has been saying he has unfinished business in England and his next job will be in this country.
I, for one, hope he does come back because he is a great character who will bring that X-factor back to our game.
He is a player's manager. I remember hearing a story about when he was at Chelsea and they visited New York for a photo shoot for one of their sponsors.
The Chelsea players were dragged here there and everywhere, and Mourhino said to the sponsors what was in it for his players.
The sponsor responded by telling them there was nothing for them.
So Mourhino apparently ordered his players back on to the bus to go back to the hotel without doing the shoot.
Eventually someone came out and said the players would be sorted, so by the time the Chelsea squad returned home they all had parcels of goodies waiting for them.
Mourhino didn't have to do this, but it's obvious he wanted to look after his players and that's exactly what he did. That really does go a long way.
Any team in this country would be fortunate to have him as their next boss.
I WOULD like to wish Paul Gascoigne, left, all the best after going into rehab in America.
Football is an unforgiving game because it will chew you up and spit you out. The problem that a lot of players suffer is the void of a Saturday matchday once they retire.
They look to other places for that satisfaction when their career is over.
I will always say that the feeling you get in the dressing room after the final whistle, when you are knackered yet victorious, is like no other and can never be captured by anything else.
The key for footballers who are coming to the end of their career is to have something else to sink their teeth into once they finish and not to not be sat twiddling your thumbs for too long.