TONY MCMAHON had never known anything quite like it.
Struck down by a debilitating virus just as the season was getting under way, the utility player found even the simplest of tasks a challenge.
Now, though, after staying away from Bradford City for a fortnight to prevent the illness spreading, McMahon is back and feeling just fine.
“I had the virus early on in the season and that was frustrating,” said the 29-year-old, who joined the Bantams in the summer from Blackpool after being on loan for the final few weeks of last season.
“I played the first game at Swindon but I just didn’t feel right. I wasn’t myself for a couple of games. I am usually hyper-active but things just weren’t right.
“I went home and was laid up for two weeks, couldn’t do a thing. It was so frustrating as I had been fit and flying after working hard in the summer.
“I felt great but then I was out and, by the time I was back, the lads were playing well and I couldn’t get in the team. I had to be patient.”
McMahon being prepared to bide his team paid off last week when he was recalled to the starting line-up at Colchester United.
That game didn’t end so well with City losing 2-0 but Phil Parkinson’s men responded admirably to beat Rochdale last weekend.
Bradford will not next be in action until Tuesday when the rearranged Johnstone’s Paint Trophy game with Barnsley is due to take place, meaning McMahon and his team-mates have had to be patient.
“I am back in the team now and desperate to keep my hands on to the shirt,” he said. “I played in another position at Rochdale but I put a shift in, as it has to be all about the team. Rochdale was a big result.
“The mood was massively different in training on Monday, the smiles were back on faces. That only comes with winning games.
“There is optimism here. I spoke to the manager in the summer when out of contract and I got that good feeling about the place. I had been here on loan and got a good taste of things. But this season, the crowds are even bigger.”