Chesterfield striker Kabongo Tshimanga has 'been through hell' after long-term injury

Kabongo Tshimanga has been through ‘hell’ with his long-term injury but his first goal since returning will put his ‘bad memories to bed.’
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The striker, who was Chesterfield’s player of the year and top goalscorer last season, came off the bench to bag his first goal since February in the 3-1 win against Barnet which sent the Spireites top of the National League.

The 25-year-old suffered a fractured leg and dislocated ankle against Weymouth last season.

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"He is cool as ice but I would not blame him if he got a bit emotional because he has gone through hell,” assistant manager Danny Webb said.

Kabongo Tshimanga is back scoring goals.Kabongo Tshimanga is back scoring goals.
Kabongo Tshimanga is back scoring goals.

"We are very fortunate to have him.

“He has been great in training since he came back.

"His season was cut short through no fault of his own.

"Hopefully that goal and the reaction of the crowd when he scored will put those bad memories to bed for him.

"He has worked his socks off to get back and it is big credit to him and to the medical department. There have been patience along the way, there has been times in pre-season where you think ‘let’s throw him into a game’ but he was not there yet.

"Now the time is right and he has to be patient because we have got players like Joe Quigley playing ever so well.

"He has come on today and shown what he brings.

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"He is a great kid but they all are. We are lucky at this football club, we have got some lovely people.”

When asked if he is ready to start games, Webb said: "He is ready. It says a lot that we are five unbeaten and he has not started but he is chewing at the bit.”

On the performance overall, Webb said it was ‘comfortable’ in the end but admitted they had to rely on the recalled Lucas Covolan at times.

“I think at 1-1 you saw the character to keep playing the way we wanted to play,” he explained.

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"In the end it was a comfortable victory but we still had to rely on Lucas (Covolan) a couple of times.

"We were brave, made some very good decisions, it is still early days but there are some positive signs at the moment.

"I think going in at half-time in the lead was a big boost because I think it probably killed them a little bit in terms of their confidence.”

Covolan was recalled after serving his three-match ban, replacing Ross Fitzsimons.

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“We relied on him a couple of times but that is what we have got two good goalkeepers for.” Webb added.

"It was not an easy decision for the gaffer, Ross has done excellent in the three games. It was not a simple decision.

"Lucas came in in the summer as our main man and apart from a crazy 30 seconds at Dorking he has carried himself excellently.

"There was a lot of pressure on him for certain reasons but I thought he handled himself excellently.”