Hearts defender Joshua Otoo happy to make injury return

Published on: 12 October 2017


Hearts defender Joshua Otoo says he is just content to be back in the team again adding that it was a nice feeling to score his first goal for Hearts.

The defender started the season as the first choice left-back for Hearts but he lost his position just before the halfway stage.

But after a dozen games missing in action for Hearts, Otoo made a return as a substitute in the semi-finals of the 2017 MTN FA CUP before getting a first league start in the second round against Wa AllStars.

“I was really happy to come back into the team. It had been a long a while for me because I could not get a chance to even go to camp when we had matches,” Otoo told accraheartsofoaksc.com

“The feeling was tough because it was the first time in my football career that I got myself into such a situation. I was not injured but I could not get a look in. The only thing I could do was to work hard and impress the coach for him to recognize and trust me again.”

The former AllStars defender had done enough at training to earn a spot back in the team and he came on as a 75thminute substitute for Thomas Abbey in our 2-1 FA Cup semi-final win at the Len Clay Stadium.

“When I had that first chance as a substitute, I was really happy because it had been a while since I had that feeling of playing competitive football.

“On top of that, it was against my former side and it was nice that I could remind them I was still playing football and for a big club like Hearts of Oak,” he revealed.

Otoo was part of the team that helped Hearts to break the 17-year wait to reach the FA Cup finals, but the up was soon followed by a slip in Wa. Hearts lost 2-1 with 10-men despite taking the lead, but for Otoo, it was another opportunity to stake a claim.

“I had that good feeling we all have when we get onto the pitch to represent our clubs and I was excited because I was back in the starting XI,” Otoo continued.

“What made me happier was the fact that I was playing at my former home ground and a lot of my friends and fans came to watch me play in Wa again. It was unfortunate we did not get at least a point but I thought we had done creditably well as a team at a tough venue.”

After two consecutive games in the team, Otoo scored his first goal in his third appearance since losing his place in the team against Dwarfs last Sunday. Skipper Thomas Abbey was completing the final of a two-game ban with Otoo taking over his place on the left side of attack.

The Hearts No.20 was slipped through on goal in the 28th minute by Winful Cobbinah and he made no mistake as he dinked a lovely effort past the on-rushing Dwarfs goalie to double the advantage for the Phobians.

“I was surprised to be honest to get a goal on my first start in the second round at the Accra Sports Stadium,” he said.

“I was a bit nervous playing in front of the home fans but I know all the hard work was to get back into the team and prove I can cut it here.

“Fortunately, I had a goal and I enjoyed the feeling so much. It was my first goal in a long time and I am just happy that I am back in the team and I have got a goal to my name for the season.”