MASSIMO Luongo has admitted that he was in desperate need of a break from competitive action prior to being rested from Swindon Town’s midweek clash with Crawley Town.
The Australian midfielder, who was this week summoned into his country’s national squad for the upcoming friendly against Ecuador, was given the chance to recuperate by manager Mark Cooper after three quarters of an intense season which had seen Luongo on the pitch for all bar 104 minutes of the 61-and-a-half hours of football Town had played prior to Tuesday night.
After two days doing nothing - in his words - Luongo is fit and raring to go ahead of the trip to Crewe Alexandra this afternoon, and he was happy to accept that his manager got the decision spot on.
“I’ll be honest and say I really needed that rest,” he said. “It’s only one game or two days but those two days basically not doing anything does me good. I think I’ll feel fresh for Saturday.
“I didn’t ask for it. I turned up to training Monday expecting a day before a game training session where we do shapework or whatever we do, expecting to be in the first XI but he brought me aside and said ‘we’re going to give you a rest’.
“I said ‘are you sure’ and he said ‘you need it, mentally and physically as well’ so I said alright, no problem.”
Luongo conceded that elements of his game have not been as dynamic or energetic as maybe they were at the start of the campaign, perhaps as a result of fatigue.
“At the beginning of the season if I got the ball I could run 90 yards if no one was in front of me, now I’d probably look for a pass and let the ball do the work if I can,” he said.
“Probably physically there’s a change in my game - I might not be getting up and down the pitch as quickly - but as a whole not really. I can do a different job or do a good job for the team no matter how tired I am.
“If the opportunity is there for me to run with the ball I’ll run with it as fast as I can, as hard as I can but fatigue does kick in and in the back of my minds I’m thinking ‘if I can clip it down the line someone else can do it for me’ and it does help having players around you who can do the hard work for you as well.
“I know Louis is going to cover me, Yaser is going to cover me so maybe I’ll push forward a bit more. Our relationship is really good.”