Taking time out gives Pawlett hope for the rest of the season

Peter Pawlett.'Pic: Lee Scriven
Peter Pawlett.'Pic: Lee Scriven

Peter Pawlett hopes the decision to step away from the intensity of first team training to allow his injuries to heal fully will help him stay fitter this season.

The midfielder has had a stop-start season with Dons so far, having made just four appearances before a lengthy lay-off since the start of September with a knee injury.

But playing for the first time again on Friday night, coming on as a substitute against Hyde United, Pawlett picked up more minutes against Oxford United on Tuesday night, and played a hand in setting up Ryan Seager to score the winner in a 4-3 win.

READ MORE: No downtime at Aberdeen is hampering Peter Pawlett's recovery
Having trained with the first team again for a couple of weeks, Pawlett believes he is ready to start games again, and admitted stepping away from the game was the best thing he could have done.

"It was a case of being stop-start all the time, but I want to play every game and be involved in every training session," he said. "Coming to a new club, you want to do that, not stay in the dressing room when everyone else goes outside to play. I think it was the right decision and hope I can be involved all the time now.

"Initially, it was sorted out and I remember talking to the press last time and thinking 'I can kick on now' but unfortunately, it hasn't been the case.

"We came to the decision for me to take some time out, and hopefully that's me sorted now.

"I've strengthened my knee up and now it's time to move on. I'm ready to start again, I'm not sure I can last 90 minutes yet, but I'll give it my best shot!"

Having spent much of the season on the sidelines, Pawlett watched on through September and October from the stands. And his frustration of not being able to play was only added to by the indifferent results on the pitch.

He said: "It's frustrating watching the lads working so hard and it not going right, but we've had two good results now so hopefully we can kick on.

"It was very frustrating, being out, because I just wanted to be out there, and impressing. I'm there and watching - it's the best way to deal with it. I like to see how they're getting on and supporting the boys.

"We've had some funny results - in the Walsall game we were excellent in the first half and should have gotten more from the game. We need to be more consistent but you can see the levels we can get to.

"It was important in the last 20 minutes against Oxford that we battled hard when Oxford were putting us under pressure, but we had the mentality to keep it tight at the back and got the result.

"But it's vital to get the results in the league again.We're all aware of the importance of the league but the two cup results give us a lot of confidence, gives us a winning mentality."