Leon Clarke has had a tough couple of weeks, but has thanked manager David Flitcroft for giving him time off to look after his sick partner.
Leon Clarke made a goalscoring return to the Shakers' in their 1-0 win over Doncaster Rovers at the weekend, after a long lay off due to injury.
Leon picked up a hematoma to his thigh which gave him a dead leg, and was unable to play for a number of weeks before his return to the team on Saturday.
However, Leon Clarke has admitted that injury wasn’t the only reason he was away from the team, he has also welcomed a baby boy into his life recently, which left his partner bed bound for two weeks.
His partner is now getting better, and he is now back in the team and looking to increase his goal tally for the season.
Speaking to Shakers PlayerHD after the match, Leon Clarke said: “There was a mixture of things, my partner went into labour, but it wasn’t just that, she went into labour, she was so ill she was bed bound.
“People probably thought maybe it was just an injury, but it wasn’t just that, it was also my partner being bed bound for the last two weeks.
“I have to thank the gaffer for giving me the time off, it maybe wasn’t the right time for the team and maybe the team needed me, but i needed to be there for my partner and my little boy.
“My Girlfriend is now better, it’s just going to take a little bit of time, my little boys fine, but I have to thank the gaffer because he stayed patient with me.
“I had the injury as well which happened in the Colchester game (on 20th Feb), I had a hematoma on my quad, it was quite bad. I had quite a bad dead leg because of it, so I had to get some physio for that.
“It’s been a difficult six weeks, and I was feeling it today.”
In fact, for Leon, it has been a tough season with a number of family problems stopping the striker reaching the goal tally he would have liked to have been at by this stage of the season.
He explained: “There’s been few things this season, my mum wasn’t very well - she’s been in hospital, my dad passed way and then my partner’s been unwell after that.
“If you look at it like that, it’s sounds really bad, but it hasn’t been that bad. I’ve got a good support network around me, the manager’s been, honestly, brilliant with me.
“I have missed a lot more games than I would have liked to through family matters which maybe hasn’t helped the team.
“It’s nice to have 18 goals, but personally i’d like to have had more. I feel like I should have 25, there’s games that i can remember; Scunthorpe at home for example and I should have had a couple today, but on the plus side it’s nice to have 18, although i’m frustrated i haven’t got more.
However, with 5 games left he has the ambitious target of scoring seven more goals to take his tally to 25 for the season.
“I’d be happy with 25, i can’t see why i can’t reach that - I feel as fit as i did in pre-season. When you have a baby you lose a lot of weight because you can’t find time to eat, so i’m the slimmest I’ve probably ever been.
“So I’m fit and raring to go.”
Watch the full interview with Leon Clarke on Shakers PlayersHD below: